Daily Archives: July 20, 2016

President Jacob Zuma: 2016 Nelson Mandela Month event

Address by President Jacob Zuma at the 2016 Nelson Mandela Month event held at the Marhulana Primary School, Tembisa, Gauteng

Programme Director, the Gauteng MEC for Education, Mr Panyaza Lesufi,

The Premier of Gauteng, Mr David Makhura,

The Minister of Basic Education, Ms Angie Motshekga,

Excellency Ambassador Tian of the People’s Republic of China and your delegation,

The leadership of the School Governing Body, the Principal,

Asazani bonke nomphakathi,

Senior Government Officials,

Ngijabula kakhulu ukuba naninamhlanje namhlanje, njengobasigubha inyanga kaMadiba, umongameli wokuqala we-NingizimuAfrika ekhululekile.

It is lovely to meet the learners and the parents at one of the oldest schools in the country, given that it was established in 1957.

We meet here two days after the whole world, including us here in South Africa, has celebrated the International Mandela Day.

On the 18th of July, we remember Madiba for serving us, not only through spending many years in prison so that we can be free, but also for laying a firm foundation for the wonderful South Africa we live in now, as the founding President of a free and democratic South Africa.

We also remember how Madiba reached out to communities to help the needy in many ways to improve their living conditions.

Today, we chose to visit this school, to celebrate Madiba’s love and compassion for children. We are also celebrating his commitment to uplifting and improving the lives of the poor.

In that way, he inspired and the world to follow his example.

We are also celebrating Madiba’s love for education. Even in his retirement, he still worked with the private sector to get financial resources to build very good schools in underprivileged communities.

This he did so that each and every child can have the opportunity that you are having here in Marhulana, to learn and have knowledge.

Namhlanje, sigubha izinto ezimbalwa ngotata uMandela. Sigubha uthando lwakhe lwezingane, yingakho silapha namhlanje. Sigubha uthando lwakhe lwemfundo. Sibuye futhi sikhumbule uzwelo nobobubele bakhe, nokuthanda ukukhuphula izimpilo zabantu abampofu.

Sithi masikhuthale sonke sifunde kuMadiba, sense nje ngaye.

Kubantwana, sithi khuthalani nifunde. Uhulumeni nabazali bazimisele ukwenza konke ukunixhasa ukuzenifunde nibe abaholi ababalulekile kusasa, nibe odokotela, abameli, abakhandi bakagesi, abakha amapayipi amanzi, osomabhizinisi nokuningi okunye.

As we remember Madiba’s birthday today, on the 7th anniversary of the International Mandela Day, we have decided to bring you some nice gifts in his memory.

We are giving you these blankets, which can keep you warm when you study at home. You are also receiving the school bags so that your books can be safe and remain in good condition for a long time.

We also want to assure the parents that government is working hard to improve the condition of our schools, including this one, and the general conditions under which our children learn.

It is important that all of us, including parents, play our roles in this task.

I am very much encouraged that as parents you are deeply involved in this school, ensuring that the school governing body is functioning properly.

It is also impressive that the community here is actively involved in this school to support the learners.

The collaboration of various stakeholders, the religious sector, the previous learners from this school, which is now 59 years old, the district office and the parents, are all a living example that working together we achieve more.

This is very clear when you look at the school results over the last three years; they have been above 90%, except in this previous year when they fell to 86%.

We are here to encourage you to take the percentage higher again this year, and coming years.

We can only succeed if there is cooperation – teachers doing their work, parents and community supporting teachers, learners listening to their parents and teachers, government providing resources, with private companies assisting from time to time.

We thank the private sector for continuing to support, in many ways our efforts to improve this country, such as in education.

Today we are joined by the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China and businesspeople originating from that country, who want to support education.

We look forward to further support from this community to the school.

Let me once again appeal for unity in the community when it comes to supporting our children and teachers in school. When we are united like this, our children cannot go astray.

If we stand united, we will also close the door to crime because many schools now have problems of crime, which include drugs, violence and bullying. When we are united like this, we are able to pick up the problems quickly and deal with them.

Ngicela sibambisane njengohulumeni nomphakathi, sivikele izikole zethu nabantwana bethu. Masibambisane kungabi khona udlame, izidakamizwa nokuhlukunyezwa kwezingane ezikoleni. Uhulumeni wesifundazwe nokazwelonke uzoqhubeka usebenze nomphakathi wase-Tembisa ukuze izinto zihambe kahle ezikoleni zethu zonke, njalo.

Ladies and gentlemen, today we are also celebrating that the vision Madiba started in 1994 of providing free health care and education is being taken forward.

Our government has worked hard to fulfil the vision of the Freedom Charter, which says that the doors of learning and culture shall be opened.

This is why over 80% of our schools are now no fee schools. Children of the poor can attend school without paying fees, so that each and every child can have an opportunity to go to school and receive education.

We are also aware that some of the learners from poor backgrounds used to drop out of school because of hunger.

Our government addressed this through the National School Nutrition Programme, where children receive food at schools, as it is happening in this school as well.

Abantwana bafunda mahala futhi bathola ukudla mahala ezikoleni, ngoba ubumpofu akufanele kuvimbe izingane ekutholeni imfundo.

Learners also receive textbooks, so that even those that cannot afford them, can be able to study. I am glad to hear that school books are delivered on time at Marhulani Primary school, including for the 2015/16 schooling year.

Ladies and gentlemen, despite all these achievements which have been made, the school is not perfect, it has some of the challenges that other townships schools have, that we can still work on and improve.

Among the many things that you complained about was the library, which did not have books, and the department of education has provided these books and will continue to fill the gaps when the need arise going forward.

You also complained about the vandalised computer laboratory, which is receiving attention.

Companies are coming in to provide support. Golden Bay Bedding has provided these wonderful gifts that we are distributing to the learners today. Vodacom has committed to providing furniture and we appreciate that gesture.

We expect many more contributions to pour in to improve this school, as we strengthen partnerships between government and the private sector.

Therefore I urge you learners to continue to study and take your lessons very seriously.

Government has many plans, which need educated people to make them successful, and we count on you learners to do that.

You will be successful if listen to your parents and to your teachers.

Dear learners, it is a special moment for me to share this Mandela month event with you. Let us, in remembering and honouring Madiba, continue to play our role in improving this country.

Education is the key to building a better South Africa.

Source: Government of South Africa.

Deputy Minister Pamela Tshwete attends Clear Rivers Campaign

The Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Mrs Pamela Tshwete, at the invitation of Mhlathuze Water and in collaboration with UThungulu District Municipality, was active in a Clear Rivers event in celebration of Mandela Day.

In the spirit of volunteerism as espoused by the world icon that the day is named after, our democratic dispensation founding father, the late former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, members of the Board, executive and officials of Mhlathuze Water and community members rallied around to make the day a success.

The fact that the river that was identified, namely, the Mzingwenya River in Eskhawini, KwaZulu-Natal, flows through what is naturally a pristine area, there was a considerable amount of shock on the realisation of how much rubbish/rubble that humans deposit indiscriminately, negatively affecting the fauna and flora, and the natural habitat of the “izi-ngwenya”, crocodiles, living in the river. The volunteers were very excited to see one of the small ones swimming along, whilst we were informed that the bigger ones would not show themselves with all the activity happening then.

This event was a response to a call made by DWS to all South Africans to participate in a Clear River campaign by cleaning a stream, river, wetland or any other freshwater ecosystem in their environment.

Deputy Minister Tshwete on addressing the volunteers said: “we are proud of being part of this day’s activities, in recognition of our icon, uTata Mandela as we lovingly called him. He showed us what the meaning of sacrifice and volunteerism implies. We are here today because in the same vein, we as DWS recognised the need to raise awareness and appreciation of our rivers, streams, wetlands and water ecosystems. This is necessary as the total populace has to understand what each of our activities end up creating in our environment.

“Before we receive our water from our taps, a lot of work is underway to ensure the safety and good quality of such water. We now want to bring a realisation to all that even prior to that, there is the issue of river health, impacting on the health of all as well as the health of our infrastructure, natural and man-made, thus the recognition of our water sources as natural infrastructure,” Deputy Minister Tshwete said.

DM Tshwete also made the point that the day’s activity was linked to Mandela Month in line with the call by the State President in the State of the Nation Address of 2014, that all South Africans, in the spirit of volunteerism, should dedicate 67 minutes towards cleaning South Africa.

The CEO of Mhlathuze Water supported by the Chairperson and Board members present, challenged Mhlathuze Water officials to on a monthly basis, give of their time in recognition of the 67 Minutes’ campaign.

The UThungulu DM provided the necessary trucks and human capacity to receive the rubble that was cleared. The amount of rubble cleared in that one part of the river shocked all of us as to how human behaviour can bring negative impacts to bear on the environment generally, but on the precious water resources particularly.

Source: Government of South Africa.

SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN FOOTBALLERS FANCY THEIR CHANCES AT RIO OLYMPICS

With the 2016 Rio Olympics fast approaching, the South African women’s football team, Banyana Banyana, fancy their chances of progressing to the second round of the soccer tournament.

The team believes they have gained valuable experience since they made their debut in London in 2012. Banyana Banyana are aiming to improve on their disappointing 2012 performance by at least qualifying for the second round in Rio.

The much improved side have a chance of realising their dream, based on their current performance. Two weeks ago, they narrowly lost 1-0 in an international friendly to the United States, the reigning Olympic and World Champions.

They also did well in two matches against the highly-rated Netherlands team last month.

Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw says: “We need to realise we are 52nd in the world rankings. Our opponents are between 1 and 12 in the world rankings. So, realistically there’s not much chance.

“But we think that we have grown so far that we can give every team a game and we want South Africa to be proud of us and to see that we give our best and we give everything we have, by both players and staff.”

Pauw has retained the bulk of the players who played in the qualifiers in her final Olympic squad. Ten of the 22 players in the final squad travelled with the team to their maiden Olympics four years ago.

Despite being in a relatively tough group alongside hosts Brazil, Sweden and China the players are confident.

Banyana Banyana Captain Janine Van Wyk says: “In 2012, we didn’t really have much time to prepare. We only had three months to prepare; we didn’t play any international friendlies. Now it’s totally different, we’re playing international teams that are ranked 13th, that are ranked first in the world.

“That is the difference that makes us grow as football players, as a team, as individuals.”

South Africa will open their Olympics campaign against Sweden on Aug 3.

Source: Name News Network

SOUTH AFRICA’S STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY CHOIR WINS BIG AT WORLD CHOIR GAMES

The choir of the University of Stellenbosch near here has returned home to a hero’s welcome at the Cape Town International airport after the 120-member choir emerged as the biggest winner at the International Choir Games in Russia, clinching gold medals in three categories.

It was a triumphant return here Tuesday as family and friends welcomed back the successful songbirds who won gold medals in three categories, including clinching 98 per cent for contemporary music, the highest awarded in any of the competition’s 27 categories at the competition which attracted more than 300 choirs from 36 countries.

“You know the most magnificent thing about winning a competition in the choral context is that every year I start with almost half the choir new; it’s not just going overseas every year and winning competitions. You have to re-invent yourself, there is always a new group,” said Choir Master Ander van der Merwe.

Choir members expressed their happiness about the win. “We really are just a family-orientated choir and we just love each other all so much, and there’s a lot of support,” said member Loren Lindoor.

“It has been a really amazing experience as a choir in general, being such a diverse group of people coming together and making music, touching people and affecting people with music,” said another member, Jerobiam James.

“I can’t believe how much time we put in, with regards to practice, at least five5 hours a week, like grinding the music, and our secret is that we practise when the academic year starts, we practice before,” said member Luthando Siboya.

The achievement secures the choir first place on the Interkultur List as best international non-professional choir.

“It is really a wonderful, wonderful day, a fantastic performance by the choir and we are excited for them. They did us proud as the university but they did South Africa very proud and I am so pleased with it,” said Stellenbosch Professor Wim de Villiers.

As a further bonus, the choir also clinched a special CD contract for the coveted Choirs of the World series.

The 9th bi-annual International Choir Games are due to be held in South Africa in 2018.

Source: Name News Network