The Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga handed over a brand new primary school to the residents of Lephalale, Limpopo, on Friday 2 November 2012, officially launching Lephalale Primary School along with sponsors and local dignitaries.
Lephalale Primary school was built through a partnership between the Limpopo Provincial Department of Education and Vodacom that is aimed at meeting the education requirements in the town.
"We are extremely proud and thankful to our Government and Vodacom for this wonderful gift", the Chairperson of the School Governing Body said amidst ululations from those in attendance.
Lephalale Primary School currently has 143 learners and 10 teachers, albeit the school has the potential to accommodate up to 900 learners. The new school consists of 26 classrooms, a computer and science laboratory, a multimedia centre, an administration block, hall, nutrition centre, two toilet blocks, and space for a sports and netball field that will soon be completed.
"We're determined to eradicate school infrastructure backlogs through mutually beneficial partnerships such as we have with Vodacom. My officials tell me, in building Lephalale Primary, Vodacom has spent R7.5 million. It has also invested in other schools in the country," said Minister Motshekga.
"This school will cater for Grade R to 7, which are very critical years for laying a solid educational foundation for children. Indeed it demonstrates forward planning on the part of the Limpopo Education Department to have determined the need for this school in light of the influx of workers into this municipal district following the construction of a power station" the Minister continued.
"The Lephalale Municipality has identified the petrochemicals sector as an area of growth. This, together with the infrastructural growth that complements development makes projects such as these more than a neccessity but an imperative. We have to arm our young with the education that they will need in order to make full use of the opportunities that are growing in our Municipality", Lephalale Mayor Councillor Jack Maeko said.
The handover of Lephalale Primary school was the latest handover in a number of schools officially opened by Government within the last month.
On 2 October, Minister Motshekga and President Jacob Zuma launched 49 new schools in the Eastern Cape as part of the National School Build Programme and the DBE-driven Accelerated School Infrastructure Development Initiative.
"We have prioritised the eradication of unsafe and mud schools. Over 3 years, our plan is to eradicate 496 inappropriate structures, provide basic water to 1257 schools, electricity to 878 schools, and basic sanitation to 868 schools. For this intervention, we have budgeted R8.2 billion," explained Minister Motshekga.
"Last year we provided 1648 classrooms, 316 sanitation blocks, water to 63 schools, electricity to 540 and fencing to 96 schools. In that period alone, 7 new schools were built. The private sector is also very critical in the provision of school infrastructure. With limited resources, Government cannot do it alone. Education is a societal imperative."
The Minister extended a special thanks to Vodacom for showing their commitment to education, particularly in Limpopo.
Vodacom has a long history of investing in education in the Limpopo province. Through the Vodacom Millionaire's Programme, the company has equipped 35 schools in the province with computer centres and connectivity.
Early next year, Vodacom will be launching the Limpopo chapter of the Vodacom Mobile Education Programme in Makhado. This resource centre will train 1 400 teachers from 172 schools annually in the use technology in the Limpopo region.
Issued by: Department of Basic Education