Case Study

SKATEISTAN Comes to Maboneng, Johannesburg

Skateistan is an international non-governmental organisation that uniquely uses skateboarding as a tool for empowerment. Skateboarding is used as a hook to engage children and connect them to education. It was launched in 2007 in Afghanistan, where girls are not allowed to ride bicycles, but are allowed to skateboard.

SKATEISTAN is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded in 2007 with a unique vision of using skateboarding as a tool for empowerment and education. The organization believes in the power of skateboarding to engage and inspire young people, providing them with opportunities to learn and grow.

Initially established in Kabul, Afghanistan, SKATEISTAN's success led to the expansion of its programs in Cambodia and South Africa. Through its innovative Skate and Create curriculum, SKATEISTAN integrates skateboarding with educational activities, allowing children to develop valuable life skills and access education that may otherwise be unavailable to them.


Saint-Gobain Africa saw the opportunity to share its technical knowledge and resources to help Skateistan achieve its vision as South Africa’s first skateboard school. Saint-Gobain Africa offered to add its systems and materials (walls and ceilings) to the rooms and learning spaces at Skateistan South Africa in the Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg.

These not only contribute to the effectiveness of Skateistan's programmes, but also enable Saint-Gobain to demonstrate the performance of its systems and explore ways to innovate.


Saint-Gobain's aim is to transform all schools and classrooms into comfortable, healthy, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly spaces with better comfort.

With its wide range of materials and systems for walls, floors, ceilings, services and related insulation systems, Saint-Gobain has devised a multi-comfort delivery model that addresses all the major factors that make for safe, comfortable spaces that enhance wellbeing. These factors include temperature; noise; visual comfort; aesthetics; clean, healthy air; security; ease of maintenance and energy efficiency.

  • Gyproc Habito walling systems were used as internal walls. Their durability and strength make hanging items from the walls a breeze.
  • To insulate the classrooms, Saint-Gobain Isover provided Cavitybatt insulation for walls and Aerolite insulation above RhinoBoard plasterboards for ceilings.

All of these solutions are lightweight, allowing for movement, thermal comfort and reduction of noise breaches from the stacked floors. The drywall system was finished off with skim plaster for a fine aesthetic.

These factors work together to create optimal environments for learners and teachers, with as few distractions as possible and minimal stress, directly contributing to better learning experiences.

"The internal walls feature Gyproc Habito™. Its durability and strength makes hanging items a breeze. Isover Cavitybatt insulation in the walls and Aerolite insulation above the Rhinoboard plasterboard ceilings, make the temperature in the repurposed shipping container classrooms far more comfortable and reduces noise from the stacked floors, said Heidi Olivier, Senior Product Manager at Gyproc.