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Keynote address by Dr Tshepo Motsepe at the Netcare School Shoes Handover and the unveiling of Phase Two of the Pink Classrooms at Khatlamping Primary School, Tembisa

Representatives of the Provincial Department of Basic Education,
Representatives from the Regional Department of Health,
Representatives from the South African Police Service (SAPS) from Tembisa South,
Founder of the Pink Forum, Ms. Mandisa Jiyane,
Principal of Khatlamping Primary School Ntate Tebogo,
Mofokeng and management of the school,
Deputy Chairperson of the School Governing Body, Ms Rammutla,
Chairman: My Walk Dr. Nceba Ndzwayiba,
Representative of Waltons, Ms Zinhle Jeje,
Founder of the Guniess Foundation, Mr Sunil Guniess,
Learners of Khatlamping Primary School who are here with us,

I am honoured to be returning to this school today and to be part of this noble venture.

A helping hand can surely make a significant difference; a helping hand touches and can change lives.

I was here last year when the Pink Forum, working with the school and other stakeholders launched the Pink Classrooms; as well as the vegetable garden we saw earlier as part of promoting food security in this community.

Having been witness to the energy and dedication of all the partners involved, I said at the time I was confident this venture would grow from strength to strength.

My confidence was well-placed, because we are back here again. To see the progress that has been made as well as to be part of a number of new initiatives.

The unveiling of the newly renovated Pink Classrooms which mark the second phase of the ones launched last year. I do believe and hope that they will be of great assistance to the children of this community. 

I am grateful to see all the familiar faces, as I am also excited to see new ones. Just like the name of this township “Tembisa”, this progress inspires confidence and hope that the children of this school community will be supported to succeed.

I wish to expressing how proud I am of the Founder of the Pink Forum, Ms. Mandisa Jiyane, a young person who is championing development for other young and disadvantaged people.

Through her activism she is shining a spotlight on pressing challenges that require intervention.

Indeed, many schools and children in townships face numerous socio-economic challenges, many of which are historically rooted in the injustices of our past.

Intervening in whatever ways that we can enables us to play an active part in progressively moving our communities and country forward.

There is great value in assisting our schools, because education is one of the key vehicles in which many rely to drive change and development; not only for their lives but those of their families and communities.

The passing of matric for a rural or township child often brings a sense of immense victory for many previously-disadvantaged families. It presents a beam of hope and is a source of significant pride.

A school is to a child what a minerals refinery is to precious gems.

Supporting schools and needy children with all the support they require shows just how much we value our national assets. It shows that we care about the future of our country.

There should be no child going to school without shoes.

There should be no child who is hungry for education sitting in class with an empty stomach.

We need to bridge the inequalities at our schools because every child is deserving of access to quality education and learning that will bring out the best in them.

Each and every one of us has a role to play in creating better learning experiences for children. Let it not be the responsibility of government alone.

It is no cliché that it takes a village to raise a child.

It takes NGO’s and individuals like Mandisa, it takes committed teachers and involved and supportive parents, and it takes cooperates like Netcare, Adcock Ingram, Waltons and Bidvest, working alongside government.

I would like to applaud Netcare and Adcock-Ingram for the hand of help that they have brought to the children of Khatlamping by donating school shoes.

It is most extraordinary, as I have been told, that these durable school shoes are made from PVC material used in the manufacture of medical supplies.

So this good deed is not just bringing joy to our learners, it is contributing to environmental sustainability as well.

With these few words I once again thank you for your kind invitation, and wish this important initiative and all those who have made this day possible well.

I thank you!