South African financial services provider Ubank, formerly Teba Bank, has helped improve the Kgorathuto High School in Botshabelo in the Free State province to mark the official opening of its first branch in Bloemfontein.
The bank, which has provided financial services to mineworkers for over 40 years, says that one of its strategic pillars is to work with and develop the communities in which it operates, with a focus on investment in sustainable educational programmes.
“We heard that this school was one of the best performing schools in this region of Botshabelo and believe our contribution would be best utilised at a school with substantial results.
“We want to ensure that they have a science and maths lab and we also want to encourage many of the learners to be part of U-Bank, an industry that encourages accounting, maths and science subjects in schools,” said Ubank chief executive officer Luthando Vutula.
Ubank helped Kgorathuto High School with repairing the ceilings of 10 classrooms, provided school uniforms for 100 learners, painted three classrooms, and also committed to providing the school with assistance in the maintenance of ablution facilities for learners. Five computers were also donated to the school.
Also present at the school for the announcement was Free State premier Ace Magashule, who pledged to provide bursaries for 20 of the school’s learners to study in tertiary institutions across the country. The bursaries will be given to academically deserving learners from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Investing in the communities in which we operate forms a critical part of how we do business, and it is this philosophy that sets us apart and allows us to uplift the lives of our customers,” said Ubank chief operating officer Bungane Radebe, adding that the bank was committed to allocating 4% of its pre-tax profits to community development initiatives annually.
The school ranks among the top 50 in Free State and also boasts a rich alumni like Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and Free State Local Government MEC Benni Kotsoane to name a few.
Ubank identified Bloemfontein as a key growth point, and the opening of the branch – the bank’s 92nd in the country – was in direct response to its customers’ requests for more branches across the country.