Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola recently visited Barberton Management Area, in the Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West (LMN) region, to roll-out a Ministerial Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Programme to penurious schools in Bushbuckridge.
The Minister visited six local schools, in the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga Province, where he donated more than 3000 cloth face masks, produced by offenders from Bethal, Witbank and Barberton Management Areas, as well as five sanitizer stands manufactured by inmates from Boksburg.
Minister Lamola used the opportunity to motivate learners to embrace education as a key driver to achieving their dreams. “I was born and bred in this area. This signifies that one can make a meaningful contribution to society, regardless of where you come from. It only takes hard work and discipline for one to achieve their aspired dreams,” the Minister said.
He said he was glad to see learners resume school in numbers, and learning and teaching proceeding smoothly. “If we want to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, we should take education seriously,” Minister Lamola added.
He also encouraged learners and educators to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations, emphasising that they must wear masks, wash their hands, sanitise regularly and maintain a safe distance. During his visit, the Minister also assessed the needs of the schools with the aim of looking into how the Department of Correctional Services may play a role in addressing some of the challenges.
All six schools lacked signage inside the premises, had unusable ablution facilities, dilapidating buildings and broken school furniture. The visit was concluded by paying homage to Mchaka High School where the Minister matriculated.
Speaking on behalf of Mchaka learners, Ntotoko Shuma thanked Minister Lamola for not forgetting where he comes from. “We are grateful that today you have decided to visit us, your presence motivates us. As the pupils of Mchaka, we will dedicate ourselves to making sure that this school produces quality results. We will make you proud,” said Shuma.
The Minister spent R5000 from his own pocket to purchase Spar shopping vouchers, with a voucher of R1000 each distributed to five distressed families as Covid-19 relief.
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