Cotton On Foundation proudly announces its completion of the momentous redevelopment of Dr JL Dube High School in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal. This week, at an event attended by educators, students, and distinguished guests, including the Foundation’s ambassador, Nomzamo Mbatha, Cotton On Foundation revealed the fully revitalized school. 

This redevelopment marks a new era of educational excellence and opportunity for the youth of KwaMashu, particularly those hailing from feeder school, Ethekwini Primary, which Cotton On Foundation overhauled in 2022.

The revamped Dr JL Dube High School boasts an expansive total floor area of 4,312 square meters, encompassing a myriad of facilities, meticulously crafted to nurture the holistic development of its 1,280 learners. The impressive transformation included the construction of new facilities such as the Pathways hub, a sports hall, science laboratories, educational blocks, a teachers’ lounge, computer laboratories, a trophy room, and several bathroom blocks with shower facilities for sport days. Furthermore, the school now features exciting outdoor amenities including netball courts, cricket nets, an amphitheater, a refurbished perimeter fence, and a rebuilt sports field that compliments indoor sports facilities. Accessibility features to ease access for those with disabilities and a school kitchen, help create a comprehensive educational experience.

The redevelopment project incorporated a number of considered and intentional design principles, including 107 newly planted indigenous trees, which, together with 18,883 plants, contribute to a vibrant and environmentally conscious campus. The school now also features a rooftop solar system, a 254 000 litre rainwater harvesting system and the incorporation of clerestories and south facing entrances ensure plenty of healthy natural light and minimize the impact of loadshedding. 

Nine vibrant murals adorn the school walls, showcasing the talent of local artists who have depicted themes of sportsmanship, education, nature, and community in brightly coloured designs. Artists who have leant their creativity to the space include Mook Lion, Sakhile Mhlongo, Gifford Duminy, Kev Ngwenya, Ntethelelo Mncwango, and Khulekani Mkhize, supported by Celimpilo L. Mthembu, Hlobile Dube, Thandanani Xulu, and Nduduzo Mahlaba.

The journey from conception to completion spanned approximately three years. Following the planning, community consultation and design phase, the groundbreaking ceremony took place in March 2022. Phase 1 of the project concluded in July 2023, which was followed by phase 2 completion at the end of February 2024. Cotton On Foundation’s unwavering commitment to the project culminated in a total investment of R 75,000,000, raised through the sale of Cotton On Foundation products across at Cotton On, Typo and Factorie stores across South Africa.

Nomzamo Mbatha, Cotton On Foundation ambassador, who originally hails from KwaMashu, expressed her profound joy at witnessing the culmination of this transformative endeavor, stating, “It has been an incredible journey to witness the progress of Dr JL Dube High School from our groundbreaking ceremony in 2022 to this momentous occasion. Initiatives like this represent my life’s purpose: gifting young people the power to believe, ensuring the equal right to access quality education and that no child should be left behind. I am deeply honored to champion them.”

Tim Diamond, General Manager of Cotton On Foundation, emphasised the organisation’s belief in the transformative power of education, sharing, “Education is the key to unlocking the potential of young people and empowering them to lead fulfilled lives. By removing the barriers to education many young people around the world face, we can create more equitable pathways to education and employment. The rebuild of Dr JL Dube High School is our largest education project to date, and we are proud to have partnered with the school and the community to bring their vision to life. We’re looking forward to continuing our journey with this school, for many years to come.”

The success of the project was made possible through collaborative efforts between Cotton On Foundation and several partners, including the Department of Education, Fieldworks Design Group, Edgecombe & Hayes-Hill, Tobbell Stretch & Associates, DBA Electrical Consulting Engineers, GVK Siya Zama (Main Contractor), and various local contractors from the KwaMashu area.

Looking ahead, Cotton On Foundation has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Dr JL Dube High School through continued teacher development initiatives and the provision of nutritious meals through the school feeding program, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to thrive.

For more information about the work of Cotton On Foundation visit

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