Programme Director, Mr Matola, CEO: Brand SA
Mr Achmat Dangor, CEO: Nelson Mandela Foundation
All Business Partners
Ladies and Gentlemen
Today, marks a crucial day for us as the Department of Basic Education to meet with key leaders in South Africa’s Private Sector – a day that will definitely change the lives of thousands of learners across the country.
Former President Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday presents the Department of Basic Education, a rare opportunity to do good with our school infrastructure. In partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation we want to pay tribute to him and what he stands for by making a visible difference to the lives of children served by at least 94 schools in South Africa.
It was in 1994 that Mr Mandela became the first democratically elected President of South Africa, this year it is his 94th birthday and it is within this context that we have identified 94 schools that are in dire need of assistance. Hence the name of the campaign: “94 projects for Madiba”.
President Mandela upheld the values of ubuntu and treating all with respect and dignity and yet there are children who continue to learn in conditions not conducive for effective learning and teaching including the safety and health of our children. President Mandela forged invaluable partnerships with the private sector towards the building of schools, particularly in poor communities across South Africa – an initiative that the education sector can build on.
It is important to note that significant achievements have been recorded in the provision of infrastructure to schools to date. Since 2000 the following has been provided to our communities:
1,206 schools have been built
38,664 additional classrooms have been built
5,214 schools were provided with water infrastructure
10,621 sanitation projects were completed
28,805 toilet seats were installed
2,847 schools were provided with electrical infrastructure
2,655 schools were provided with security fencing
Despite these achievements there are still huge gaps in terms of insufficient infrastructure provision, for example: shortage of classrooms, laboratories and libraries; the replacement of pit latrines and mud structures; and inadequate maintenance leading to leaking roofs, broken windows and doors.
The following backlog is being experienced with regard to curriculum spaces at schools across South Africa:
· 446 Replacement of mud, wood, prefabricated and metal structures
· 514 Schools to be provided with sanitation
· 714 Schools to be electrified
· 1,069 Schools to be provided with water
· 4,050 Sports Facilities
· 13,617 Computer Centres
· 14,989 Libraries
· 15,368 Multipurpose Rooms
· 15,435 Nutrition Centres
· 16,516 Administration Blocks
· 18,258 Laboratories
The Department estimates that R66.6bn is required to elevate all ordinary schools to a level of optimal functionality. This amount excludes: preliminaries, escalations, professional fees and VAT. An additional estimate of R20bn is required for maintenance and repairs to existing infrastructure.
The primary objective of the “94+ Schools Project” is to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday by giving hope and dignity to children through improvements in their learning environment. The intention of the Department is to mobilise resources and support from various sectors of society around the enormous task of alleviating the infrastructure backlog primarily for schools serving the poor.
The secondary objectives for us are:
· That this project forms part of Government’s broader infrastructure roll-out plan to bring better living conditions for all
· It Contributes to South Africa’s skills development programme by providing skills training to unemployed youth
I want to thank business and individuals who have committed their support to this project.