Minister Michael Masutha visited Boksburg Management Area on 21 September 2018 to officially open a new school named Tari Liswa (New Leaf) High School for grade 10 to 12 learners, and officiate the Gauteng region’s offender graduation ceremony.
The Minister toured the new school which was built using offender labour and skills under the supervision of correctional officials from Boksburg Management Area workshops. The school consists of seven classrooms, a staff room, computer centre and library.
Minister Masutha thanked Liberty who donated digital libraries to,Boksburg, Baviaanspoort and Johannesburg management areas to the value of R148 350. “Through these libraries, inmates can access and view the Mindset Learn educational programmes on offer. We want to emphasize education as critical in providing a platform for skilling of inmates,” he said.
The Mindset Learn schooling programme provides video, print and interactive multimedia content designed to be used by teachers and learners in the classroom.
The second leg of the minister’s visit involved attending an offender graduation ceremony. Altogether 127 inmates from Gauteng region graduated in a variety of fields. One offender, Madeleen Breedenham received a Masters in Tax Law from Unisa. Ms Breedenham also scooped the top achiever award.
Using a biblical metaphor of a fig tree, the minister said to the offenders, “Be the fig tree that feeds the nation, your family and eventually feeds itself. No longer shall you be regarded as a thorn tree that pricks, but now you have become a fig tree that feeds.” He said the graduation ceremony was the culmination of a partnership between the department and inmates that resulted in “fig trees in full bloom, in full fruition, and ready to feed”.
Other dignitaries at the event included esteemed academics led by Professor Meahabo Magano from Unisa, member of Ekurhuleni Mayoral Committee Councillor Lesiba Mpya and Gauteng Regional Commissioner Grace Molatedi.