3 March 2004

South Africa: Zuma, Mandela to Open School

Pretoria — Deputy President Jacob Zuma will on Friday join former President Nelson Mandela and other high-ranking government officials to open the Mnyakanya Secondary School in the kwaNxamalala area in Nkandla, Northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Gold Fields funded the refurbishment of the school at a cost of R6 million, at the request of Mr Mandela and Deputy President Zuma.

High-level government delegates who are set to grace the occasion include Ministers Mangosuthu Buthelezi (home affairs), Stella Sigcau (public works), Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (minerals and energy) and Director-General in the education department Thami Mseleku.

Spokesperson for Deputy President Zuma, Lakela Kaunda, said the launch was another celebration of public-private partnerships in education and a further promotion of government's integrated and sustainable rural development strategy.

Mnyakanya is the only high school in the area, which offers Mathematics, Physical Science and Commercial subjects.

The school, which produces an average 90 percent pass rate at Matric level, used to have only 12 classrooms, two of which were used as an office and a staff room.

"The school now has more than double the facilities previously available. The project included the building, furnishing and equipping of 12 new classrooms, a multi-purpose hall with library, book store and computer area and an administration block that comprises the principal's office and record room, heads of department offices, a staff room, kitchenette, sick room and store," said Ms Kaunda.

She added that Gold Fields also arranged for the building of a new ablution blocks for learners' use, toilets for staff and on site living accommodation for the principal.

The school has also received assistance from other private sector institutions including the Telkom Foundation, which donated science laboratory equipment and paid for the training of Grades 10 and 12 educators.

The MTN Foundation provided the school with a fully equipped media centre.

Deputy President Zuma has also secured for three more schools in the area.

These include Emthungweni High School, which will be upgraded through funding obtained from Pick 'n Pay.

Kwazikwakhe Primary School will be refurbished through funds from Tsogo Sun, while Matholamnyama High School will get a fully-fledged computer centre, a science laboratory and science kits and four additional classrooms to be financed by the Telkom Foundation.

The Jacob Zuma Trust pays school fees for approximately 60 percent of learners at Mathol'amnyama school. It obtained a 100 percent pass rate for the past two years.

"The Jacob Zuma Trust pays for the education of over 3 000 children at primary and secondary school level, and for 50 students at tertiary level each year," said Ms Kaunda.

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