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New Majuba FET College campus sets a new standard

Construction of the new Majuba FET College’s Dundee campus is providing thousands of higher-education seeking youth with the opportunity to study in a state-of-the-art college environment.


The campus comprises a gatehouse, administration offices, two double-storey lecture blocks measuring 2 200m2 each, an exam centre, resource centre, student centre and walkways. 


Demand for education facilities in Dundee has increased drastically over the past few years with the growth in population and rising unemployment levels. To address this imbalance, Majuba FET College partnered with Endumeni Municipality to establish Dundee campus at Mpati.  


Students from Dundee, Glencoe and Nquthu would previously have had to travel to Newcastle to attend courses however, an interim venue followed by the newly constructed FET College has provided local students with convenient campus access. 


As part of the Umzinyathi Community Education Project, Endumeni Municipality donated land to Majuba FET College at the entrance of Dundee for the establishment of Dundee Technology Centre (DTC). 


To ensure the most relevant courses were selected, research was conducted into available opportunities that will enable the community to become economically active. Courses will include Management Assistant, Business Management, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Human Resources Management. 


Tjaart van der Walt, head architect of LVDW Architects, explained that, “the soil was particularly rocky, which proved challenging at first, however the engineers managed to break through for construction.”


“We opted for a more conventional design in an effort to save on costs,” explained Van der Walt. “Brick construction with face brickwork fulfilled all the requirements of this college infrastructure.  The neutral colours of the face brick blended in well with the surrounding environment.”


The bricks were laid in a conventional stretcher bond pattern while the sturdy herringbone pattern was selected for the pavers. Pattern work was included in areas of the face brick façade to express its African context.


The brickwork included combinations of Corobrik’s range of Nebraska Travertine and Country Classic Travertine face bricks for the maintenance free facades, with Champagne and Burgundy pavers being used to compliment the buildings aesthetic and surrounds.


According to Musa Shangase, Corobik Commercial Director, “the choice of colours and textures work particularly well in the environment. The life-time cost-saving benefits of the face bricks is just one of the many attributes that will serve this project well into the future”. 


“It makes a lot of sense that we should build infrastructure to serve communities for hundreds of years with little maintenance such that scarce resources can be better spent on providing new facilities and other improvements. Brick construction provides a unique proposition in facilitating that opportunity”, continued Shangase. 


“Quality learning environments such as what has been provided at Majuba require superior day-time thermal comfort; good acoustic attributes to deaden noise transfer from the outside and between lecture theaters and brickwork provides all that so efficiently.” 


“This is a substantive facility with an appealing aesthetic that promises so much to the economy and future employment opportunities in Northern KZN and beyond”, concluded Shangase