Programme Director: Mr Aubrey Africa
Councillor: Beverley Van Reenen
Principal: Mr H. Windvogel
Outgoing SBG Chairperson and Ex-learner: Mr David Cochran
Distinguished Guest: Ms Lesline McGlenatendolf
Pastors: Moulana A.H. Adam and Moulana A.H. Adam
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is my singular honour and a privilege to be in the province of the Western Cape again to officially open the 10th Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) state-of-the-art school.
Today’s joyous occasion of the Tygersig Primary School opening is overshadowed by the nation’s grief and mourning following the tragic and untimely deaths of the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Honourable Collins Chabane and his protectors Sergeants Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane. Minister Chabane was killed in a car accident early on 15th March 2015. He will be laid to rest in a state funeral at Xikundu, Limpopo on Saturday 21st March. We are glad to announce also that both his protectors will also be accorded a category of official state funeral befitting their contributions.
Comrade Chabane was also a long standing member of the African National Congress (ANC). At the time his passing he had been one of the longest serving members of the ANC’s highest decision making body in between conferences, the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Our Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa described the nation’s loss thus: “Our soldiers, three big trees, have fallen and their departure is a great loss to South Africa”.
We express on behalf of the people of South Africa in general and Basic Education fraternity in particular our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased, their friends, comrades and our government in general. May their souls rest in eternal peace! We will miss Comrade Chabane’s laughter, humility and self-effacing demeanour.
In honour of our fallen heroes, I humble request that we observe a moment of silence.
Moment of Silence!
Programme Director; before I pay tribute to my late colleague Honourable Chabane allow me a brief moment to reflect on why ASIDI programme is important. The singular mission of ASIDI is to eradicate schools built from inappropriate materials such as of asbestos, wood, mud, etc. However, because ASIDI is more than just brick and mortar programme, all ASIDI schools are provided with dignified sanitation, drinking water, electricity, computers, laboratories and other basic amenities. Essentially, this programme seeks to restore the pride and dignity of our communities that were previously neglected by the apartheid regime.
Throughout the length and breadth of our beautiful country we seek to deliver 527 state-of-the-art schools through ASIDI. By the time we complete this mammoth task we would have provided water, sanitation and electricity to 1000 schools as part of restoring dignity to our people.
Further progress on infrastructure include
a) 108 – Other schools under construction.
b) 342 – Schools that have received water for the first time.
c) 351 – Schools that have received decent sanitation.
d) 288 – Schools that have been connected to electricity
In the Western Cape alone the ASIDI programme is poised to deliver 25 state-of-the-art schools especially for the previously disadvantaged communities.
Nationally, ASIDI has delivered 98 state-of-the-art facilities in rural and economically depressed areas to give all our children a more equal shot at life. These are indeed dividends of democracy. We are excited at the prospect of reaching the 100th School milestone within weeks from now. Our thinking is that when we reach the 100th ASIDI School mark, there should bells and whistles.
Programme Director, I dedicate today’s ASIDI’s school opening to the son of the soil, and a humble servant of the people, the late Minister Chabane.
Honourable Chabane was a versatile and personable human being with an incisive mind, sharp wit and easy humour. Despite many contributions he made to the struggle against apartheid and in the new South Africa, Honourable Chabane would be remembered as the inaugural Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency during the 4th Administration. He introduced the ground-breaking performance measurement in government for the very first time but quickly made it as a central feature of government work. We are indeed left poorer without the incisive mind of Comrade Chabane. He indeed left a void both in Government and the ANC.
Programme Director Comrade Chabane was more than just a politician but a long life student. He attended Shingwedzi High School, and at the age of 17 he joined the ANC underground. He registered for a Bachelor Degree in Science at Turfloop University, but a year later, in May 1980, he went into exile, when he joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). Comrade Chabane was arrested by the Security Police in 1984, and was sentenced to six years imprisonment on charges of terrorism. He was imprisoned at the same time as many other luminaries of our anti-apartheid struggle such as Comrades Tokyo Sexwale, Kgalema Mothlanthe, and Popo Molefe.
Most importantly while incarcerated Comrade Chabane’s love for education continued unabated. During his time in prison he obtained a Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the then Technikon South Africa, and also studied Aviation Studies. While in exile he also obtained a Diploma in Management from Arusha in Tanzania. We can truly say he was a well-rounded student and versatile.
True to his versatile nature Comrade Chabane also developed interest in music while in prison, where he learnt music theory and how to play the harmonica from fellow comrade Bafana Sithole. In the free South Africa Comrade Chabane also headed a Marimba band called Movement, that went on to record two CDs to date.
Today, we as mourn a life well lived; it is incumbent upon the young generation to emulate the example set by Comrade Chabane. To continue on Comrade Chabane’s trajectory we need to galvanise strong partnerships with all sectors of society. Precisely because we strongly contend that education is a societal issue. This means parents must play an active role in the life of this school in particular and education of their children in general. School Governing Bodies’ elections are taking place throughout the country as we speak. We urge all parents to partake in this exercise to strengthen oversight and accountability in our schools. This may include ensuring that educators are in class on time teaching for at least seven hours a day. And, to ensure that children do their homework and arrive at school on time, pay attention during the learning process, respecting the school property and educators. Collectively, the community must ensure safety and security of this new school. You must also ensure that quality learning takes place. It is your responsibility to jealously guard these facilities as they now belong to you all.
As a country, we owe it to the fallen soldiers to set an example in this school. This school must produce the next generation of Chabanes – well-rounded and life-long students. I can assure today that crime and gangsterism leads to a life of misery. Only education is a ticket out of poverty. The people of South Africa have invested R52 million to this school alone. The teachers in this school need no motivation to excel. I am told that since A Pep Academy was established between 2008 and 2012 to improve LITNUM in Grade 4 that marked the golden years in this school in terms of performance in Numeracy and Literacy systemic tests. The school has been honoured with numerous awards. To the learners, as a government we have done our part to provide this state-of-art facilities and a nurturing school environment, it is now up to you to grab opportunities and shine. We believe that every child is a national asset hence our endeavour to provide the best of infrastructure and dedicated teachers to all our children.
I thank you.