The wellbeing of South African learners remains our main priority. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) therefore welcomes the launch of My Walk Made With Soul School Shoes Initiative aimed at providing school shoes and socks to learners in poor communities. The launch took place at the Chivirikani Primary School in Katlehong, Gauteng Province on 04 February 2020. The project seeks to reach out to 25,000 learners in 2020.
The My Walk Made With Soul school shoes are provided by Netcare and Adcock Ingram using non-hazardous, recycled PVC healthcare waste products, to address social challenges faced by learners during their academic journey. According to the Chief Executive Officer of Netcare, Dr Richard Friesland, the recycling of PVC waste products will contribute to environmental sustainability, whilst addressing the needs in poor communities. “We found ourselves with tonnes of high-quality PVC waste, such as drip bags, oxygen masks and associated tubing that can only be used once in a medical context. In the past, these products ended up at landfills. The partnership is an example of embracing a circular economy. It shows how a green solution can fulfil a material need for a business while simultaneously benefiting society-in this case by supporting education, job creation and enterprise development".
Speaking during the launch, Chief Director for National and Provincial Communication, Mr Elijah Mhlanga, stated that school shoes are a necessity, and if learners do not have adequate footwear it has a high chance of impacting on their academic performance. Mr Mhlanga acknowledged the collective efforts made by Netcare, Adcock Ingram and My Walk Made With Soul in restoring the dignity of education in schools, saying it will improve school performance. “It is always fulfilling to join hands with a partner who is willing to give back to the community,” Mr Mhlanga concluded.