Address at Japie Greyling School on 94+ Projects for Madiba by Mrs Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, Japie Greyling School, Midvaal
16 Jul 2012
Gauteng MEC for Education, Mrs Barbara Creecy
Strategic President of the Ferrero Group, Mr Michele Ferrero
CEO of the Ferrero Group, Mr Giovanni Ferrero
President of Ferrero Social Enterprise, Amb Paolo Fulci
Our Media partners
Principal of Japie Greyling, Mr Piet Du Toit
Chairperson of the Governing Body, Mr William Smith
We’ve descended most spiritedly on Japie Greyling with only one day from the much anticipated 94th birthday of our national hero and first President of the democratic Republic – Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
We’re here proudly to affirm that people in this country will always rise and bravely face, as a united force, any challenge on their way to a better life for all. We’ve demonstrated certainly that we can work as a nation during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Hosting and winning the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations followed suit.
We’ve made waves, the world over, with the phenomenal FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010. Last year we sang as one nation “Happy Birthday Madiba”. We’ve rallied together to support the Class of 2011 with impressive results when least expected in light of the public sector industrial strike.
We’ve come to Daleside near Ferrero’s Walkerville factory this time to celebrate invaluable contributions to the building of a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa. Indeed it feels good to honour Madiba in the comfort of the ‘new-look’ Japie Greyling School, courtesy of Ferrero Social Enterprise.
Children and education are Madiba’s first love. To celebrate his unflinching commitment to education, we’ve joined forces with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and other partners around this people-driven campaign – the 94+ school projects for Madiba.
The former president will celebrate his 94th birthday this Wednesday. The symbolism of the name – ‘94 projects’ – is derived from his age. Since its formal launch in April the 94+ Projects has enjoyed overwhelming support of private and public partners.
It is best to celebrate with Madiba by improving the milieu wherein children receive education, which is, as he says: “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
This nationwide project is part of global celebrations of International Mandela Day and promises to take this country by storm in a scale at best unprecedented.
Our intention is to use International Mandela Day to inspire individuals in South Africa and abroad to take conscious steps to make the world a better place for all.
Madiba has forged invaluable partnerships with corporates around schools. Let’s sustain the work he has started. ‘It is in your hands to make a difference!’
The 94+ Projects for Madiba builds on our growing partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, to mobilise learners, teachers, parents and broader society in support of education. The Ferrero-sponsored Japie Greyling bears testimony to great work possible to conjure up by a people united by a shared vision of reconstruction and development.
Children of Ferrero’s employees, 80% of which are women, are also at Japie Greyling. This important moment affords us the right climate officially to announce this main phase of the 94+ Projects for Madiba which will unfold ‘full-speed’ on Wednesday, 18 July.
We have identified the renovation of school buildings; installation of water and sanitation facilities; construction of admin blocks; fencing; school furniture and the provision of kitchen units as priorities for schools.
Indeed work has begun in earnest since the project’s launch. As with schools in the Midvaal, courtesy of Ferrero and other corporates, refurbishments are being carried out ahead of 18 July, Madiba’s birthday.
Since 2000 government has prioritised backlogs in school infrastructure. Despite this, we remain haunted by huge gaps we inherited. Government cannot do it alone, thus our clarion call to make education a societal responsibility.
We are excited Ferrero has heeded the call to adopt a school and has embraced the 94+ Projects for Madiba. Accordingly, we thank Ferrero for transforming this school from its archaic and ruinous 1930s look and feel. I encourage you to take rounds to witness: The repaired and painted roof; Newly built ramps for learners with disabilities; Painted classrooms; Renewed floors and ceilings; A new kitchen; Newly tiled bathrooms; Grade R play-area; Cricket nets and a sports-field.
Thank you to the management and staff of Ferrero. Indeed you have set a first-rate example. One of our Branches in the department couldn’t resist your noble gesture. They contributed R3 000 from their own pockets for painting the admin block.
The 94+ Projects will help in creating an educational environment conducive for quality learning and teaching.
Organised labour has been phenomenal with trade unions getting into schools and driving this message among workers and communities that education is a societal issue.
We would like to extend our gratitude to schools and educators for their collaboration. From their reports on urgent needs of schools volunteers could to say where they could best help.
Improving learning outcomes depends on learners who are willing and ready to learn. ‘Thank you’ to all learners who’ve volunteered to support the reconstruction and development of their schools.
It’s the task of communities and parents to protect schools in their environment against all sorts of risk, including vandalism, crime, drugs and abuse. What would be the point of investing so much in these schools if we’re not going to protect them?
There are mechanisms and structures in place for communities to support schools.
We’ve launched the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign with stakeholders to revive the culture of learning and teaching.
We’ve broadened channels for community involvement in schools when we signed as government the Nedlac Accord on Basic Education and Partnership with Schools in 2011, with business, organised labour and community representatives.
The business sector is an important stakeholder both in terms of its corporate social investment and its interest in achieving a more educated workforce (Delivery Agreement for Basic Education 2010:9).
Your investment in education means more to us who are charged with the task of steering the ship of education in the face of turbulent waters.
We will continue as government to do our best to turn schooling around in spite of current challenges, including the grave matter of textbooks in Limpopo and mud-schools in the Eastern Cape. It cannot be ‘business as usual’. We are resolute about the need to deliver quality education for a democratic South Africa.
We would like to appeal to all people in our country to make a difference. All should make this unprecedented 94+ Projects for Madiba a resounding success, for the children.
Again let’s unite in song singing at the top of our voices ‘Happy Birthday Madiba’. We can break the record we’ve set last year with over 12 million learners participating.
Enjoy and make the most of International Mandela Day especially during the Centenary of Africa’s oldest liberation movement – the African National Congress. We say, in advance: “Happy Birthday Tata!!!”
Issued by: Department of Basic Education
16 Jul 2012
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