KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize, members of his Executive Council and eThekwini Municipality Mayor Cllr James Nxumalo spent 67 minutes renovating Dr John Langalibalele Dube High School in KwaMashu.
"The 32-year old school which is named after the first president of the African National Congress Dr John Langalibalele Dube is in a terrible condition and has been put under government's school improvement programme initiated to coincide with the birthday celebrations of former State President Nelson Mandela. This initiative is aimed at mobilising the broader society to ensure the provision of quality education to schools, especially those that are in poor communities."
"Over the years, ordinary people of this country across all races and from different organisations - civil society, faith based and pressure groups - used education as a vehicle to defeat apartheid. It is relevant today that we must all unite and ensure that our post-apartheid education equips our children to take up the lead in the global economy and geopolitics."
"The struggle for a better life for all was led by dedicated leaders such as Dr John Langalibalelele Dube and Tata Nelson Mandela. Dr Dube, a giant well ahead of his time, was an intellectual and a visionary. He was a courageous man who believed in employing education as a tool for political and economic emancipation in the face of brutal dispossession and oppression by the colonial masters of the time. He established the school that stands today, called Ohlange (meaning it is institution for the indigenous people) and was greatly influenced by such leaders as Booker T Washington, who emphasised skills development and combined that with intellectual and spiritual development."
"Spending 67 minutes renovating the JL High School is a fitting tribute to Tata Nelson Mandela on his birthday."
"Many people will recall that on 27 April in 1994 President Mandela went to cast his ballot in the first ever election in his lifetime at the age of 72, in Inanda village outside Durban. Thereafter he went to the grave of the first President of the African National Congress Dr John Langalibalele Dube, stood at attention and took a military salute and declared: "Mr President I am here to report that now South Africa is free!"
"As government we believe that the freedom which Tata Nelson Mandela and JL Dube fought for, for so many years will be under threat if we do not pay attention to education. We are intensifying the mobilisation of grassroots cadres, community workers, volunteers, religious leaders, traditional leaders, community leaders and the members of the public to join education forums in the townships, villages and suburbs to elevate education to be a societal issue - identify community factors which impact negatively to education."
"It should be the duty of all of us to work towards the achievement of the following:
empowerment of parents and communities to understand educational needs of learners in the nearby schools
advocating for learner-educator and parent partnerships in order to bridge the gap that exists
advocating for a crime free school environment
promotion of culture of learning and teaching.
"We reiterate as government that our major focus is the provision of quality education. We do so because we understand that quality education has reshaped life in most countries and made it possible for the millions of people to live a fulfilling life. Education is the engine of the economy. We have no doubt that, without quality education, there can be no socio-economic development in this province."