Call to support 94 schools for Mandela
15 June 2012
The Cabinet has called on South Africans to support the 94+ Schools campaign aimed at marking Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday and extending his legacy by improving infrastructure in 94 schools across the country.
Mandela celebrates his 94th birthday on 18 July, and the Department of Basic Education in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and Brand South Africa have joined forces to celebrate the great man's life by helping to improve the lives of young South Africans.
The 94+ Schools campaign will form part of Mandela Day, which is marked across the world on 18 July each year to inspire people to take action to change the world for the better and, in doing so, to build a global movement for good.
94 schools identified
The project aims to mobilise resources and support from various sectors of society to tackle the huge infrastructure backlog facing schools that serve South Africa's poorer children.
The project has identified 94 schools urgently in need of help with the renovation of school buildings, the installation of water and sanitation facilities, the provision of desks and chairs, the construction of admin blocks, fencing, and new kitchen units.
Where possible, libraries and laboratories will also be provided, as well as landscaping and gardening to create an environment that teachers and pupils will want to spend time in and enjoy.
Interested organisations are invited to pledge their support for the project by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Progress made - but huge shortfalls remain
South Africa has made considerable progress in improving school infrastructure over the last decade. Since 2000, according to the Department of Basic Education, 1 206 schools and a further 38 664 classrooms have been built, while 5 214 schools have been equipped with running water and 2 847 schools given electricity.
Massive shortfalls remain, however, with the department estimating that R66-billion is needed to bring all schools in the country to a level of optimal functionality.
At the current rate of resource allocation, it will take the department 30 years to clear this backlog.
Briefing journalists after a regular Cabinet meeting in Pretoria on Thursday, Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane encouraged young people to participate actively and whole-heartedly in the campaign.
He also noted that all South Africans have been invited to join millions of pupils in singing the Mandela Birthday Song at 08h00 on Wednesday, 18 July.