Theme: “Democracy 25”
Minister in the Presidency, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma,
Minister of Higher Education, Mrs Naledi Pandor,
The Deputy Minister of the Department of Basic Education,
Department of Basic Education Director-General, Mr. Mweli,
The Asmal family represented by Adam Asmal and granddaughter Zoe,
Honourable Chairperson and Members of the Portfolio Committee,
Former Directors-General of the Department of Education,
Heads of Provincial Education Departments,
All National Teaching Awards sponsors,
Finalists of the 19th National Teaching Awards,
Fellow South Africans
It is a great pleasure to host all of you as we pay tribute to our teachers. We have gathered here tonight in recognition of the accomplishments of each of these individuals who are responsible for shaping the lives of our children.
The National Teaching Awards (NTAs) are part of the broader Teacher Appreciation and Support Programme (TASP) through which the Department of Basic Education identifies, recognises and celebrates excellence in the teaching profession. Through the programme, and over the years, it has become clear that South Africa has dedicated itself to support outstanding teachers who work tirelessly daily towards the betterment of our children.
Teachers are indeed the heartbeat of the nation. We thank you for making us to gather in this celebratory occasion, and we can all affirm that teachers will always occupy a special place in our basic education system. To all the teachers gathered here tonight I would like to salute and encourage you to continue being trailblazers of excellence.
Introduction of the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Programme Director; allow me to formally introduce our guest of honour. Dr Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma serves as the Minister in the Presidency: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation since February last year.
Dr Dlamini Zuma holds a BSc degree in Zoology and Botany from University of Zululand 1971; MB ChB from University of Bristol 1978 and a Diploma in Tropical Child Health from School of Tropical Medicine, University of Liverpool 1986. She Matriculated at Amanzimtoti Training College in 1967.
During her studies in South Africa, she took up the course of freedom as part of students affiliated to SASO. Subsequently she served the ANC in various positions during her stint in Great Britain between 1977 and 1989.
She has served over many years as a medical practitioner across the globe including such countries as South Africa, Canada, England, Zambia, and Swaziland.
On her return to South Africa, Dr Dlamini Zuma has served the ANC and ANC Women’s League in various leadership positions with distinction.
Since 1994, she has served the ANC led Government in various capacities including as Minister of Health, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs. One of her enduring legacies as the Minister of Health is the continued ban on use of tobacco products in public places, and ban on advertising.
Dr Dlamini Zuma has also served as the President of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism (WCAR); President of the Ministers' Council for the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and led a number of peace initiatives to DRC, Comoros, Lesotho and many others. She is a former Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Executive Council of Ministers, during South Africa's tenures as AU Chairperson.
She is also a member of the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Working Committee (NWC).
Dlamini Zuma was elected by the African Union Commission as its chairperson on 15 July 2012, making her the first woman to lead the organisation (including its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity). She was in office from 15 October 2012 until 30 January 2017.
Dr Dlamini Zuma is a recipient of many honorary doctorate degrees from various universities around the world. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, the daughter of the soil, Mama Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
I thank you.