Light-steel-frame building for Katlehong early-childhood development centre


light-steel-frame building is providing a structured, safe space to learn and play for preschool children, says early-childhood development Breakthrough Centre programme director Zodwa Latola.

The new building was a corporate social responsibilityproject by building material giant Lafarge South Africa's Gypsum division. Gypsum MD Jean-Paul Croze says an evaluation of the previous structure in which the centre was located validated its decision to build a new structure.


Latola notes that many of the children come from poor and/or youth- or grandparent-headed homes. The safe environment of the centre where they develop social and mental skills will improve their ability to escape the trap of poor self-esteem - which often leads to underperformance and poverty in adulthood - and cope with challenges during their schooling. This will also improve their chances in later life.


"Many of the children's parents or guardians go to work early and come home from work late. Their guardians are not always able to provide them with the stimulation required to develop their social skills and boost their self-esteem.


"This centre has the support of the local community and has now received support from a large corporation. We need many more such centres and are thankful and grateful to Lafarge for its support. We hope that they will continue to support us and we encourage other corporations to provide direct support to the local communities in which they work," she says.


Katlehong is situated south of Germiston, in Gauteng, and betweenLafarge's Alrode and Roodekop operations.


"Lafarge's goal of building better cities includes designing cities and urban systems for all people to improve access to transport and better living conditions, which, in turn entails the implementation of special solutions for the growing populations of South Africa and Africa," says Croze.


For this reason, the Lafarge team selected the light-steel-frameconstruction method, as it enabled the company to supply the plasterboards and the steel from its own plants to build the structure.


"Light-steel-frame structures perform similarly to brick and mortar structures, but require less raw materials and less time to build, which make them more environ-ment friendly and less costly, compared with brick and mortar construction methods.

Breakthrough Center Building