The pupils of HP Williams Primary School in St Helena Bay are off to a flying start in 2017, courtesy of a brand new mini bus and back to school starter packs for all grade one pupils which were donated to the school by South Africa’s largest fishing company, the Oceana Group.
Home to nearly 300 pupils from Grade R to Grade seven, HP Williams Primary School is located in the West Coast fishing town of St Helena Bay. With 11 classrooms and 11 dedicated teachers, the school services the local community including the children of the employees of Oceana’s long-established lobster and pilchard processing plants and its cannery in St Helena Bay.
Opened in 1962, HP Williams Primary School has not had its own reliable school transport for more than 50 years, and up until now its pupils often missed out participating in school excursions and sports events. “Having our own transport gives our school a welcome sense of independence and is a point of pride for our pupils, teachers and local community,” comments School Principal Mr Erasmus. “We are grateful to Oceana for this very kind donation which will have an immediate positive impact on all the pupils who pass through these doors.”
In addition to the brand new Quantum mini-bus for the school, Oceana ensured that all 60 grade one pupils receive their own back to school stationery starter packs. “As South Africa’s largest fishing company and one of the top ten fishing companies in the world, Oceana is committed to ensuring that we convert our fishing rights into human rights that create shared value for all South Africans, and especially within the coastal communities where we have our operations,” remarks Oceana CEO, Francois Kuttel. “We believe that our Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is most effective when focused on food security and education, as these are the keys to improving socio-economic conditions. In 2016, Oceana invested over R6.6 million as part of their CSI in its efforts to uplift South African fishing communities. Seeing the joy that the new minibus brings to the pupils of the school is an unquantifiable return on investment that makes it more than worthwhile.”
Perhaps no one puts it better than HP Primary’s Head Boy, Isidor Erasmus; “The bus is a great gift for our school. We can now be much more independent, because previously we always had to rely on taxis for transport. Now that we have our own transport, the best part is that we can save money and the school can now develop. At H. P. Williams we work sparingly with money and really appreciate any donations we receive. Therefore, we as a school want to thank Oceana for the great gift. We really appreciate it and can assure you that we can and will have many uses for the bus.”