Minister Faith Muthambi: Handing-over of ICT Centre at Tshivhulana Primary School

Address by Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Hon. Faith Muthambi, during the handing-over of the ICT Centre at Tshivhulana Primary School

Programme Director;

Member of the Limpopo Provincial Legislature Hon M M Ramadwa;

Councillor of Vhembe District Municipality, Ms SE Makhomisane;

Traditional leaders from the Tshimbupfe Royal Council, led by Vho- M.K Netshimbupfe;

Musanda Vho ´┐ŻED Mulaudzi, of Tshuvhulana

Acting DDG for Service Delivery Support, Mr Emmanuel Kgomo.

The circuit manager of Vhuronga 1, Mr. Mafune;

Ms Maropeng Seolonyane, from our donors, Light Fibre Infrastructure;|

Mr Tinus Pretorius, from our donors, Light Fibre Infrastructure;

Ms Fareed Sheria, also from Light Fibre Infrasturucture;

Representatives of Liquid SA, who are also our donors.

The school governing body of Tshivhulana Primary School, led by Mr N Mufamadi;

The School management team led by the Principal, Mr A Ngobeni;

All Educators;

Faith based organisations;

Community Based Organisations;

Residents of Tshivhulana and neighbouring areas;

And our friends from the Media;

Good afternoon/ Ndi Masiari

Let me do it the traditional way Aaa!

Programme Director;

We are gathered here today, to witness and celebrate the official opening of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre of Tshivhulana Primary School. This project is happening as a result of our continuous interactions with the communities, through our community outreach programmes.

We are also here to monitor the standard of services that our community is receiving from our government. We are doing this because indeed, ours is a government of the people by the people.

We want to remain in touch, and actually live with our communities, so that we can see the challenges they face in their daily lives. In this way we are able to intervene and deliver on our commitment to make the lives of our people better.

Programme director;

There was a time when public representatives were always criticised for sitting in their air – conditioned offices in the cities and towns, while the voters are suffering. But our leader President Zuma took a bold decision that all Ministers and public representatives must make time to always go to the communities and interact with the people, with the aim of improving service delivery.

This is part of our broader communication strategy as government, wherein we interact directly with the people, more especially those that are still experiencing the challenges of communication barriers due to the digital divide that exist in our communities.

We will continue to embark on service delivery visits to our communities, in order to assess all the frontline service delivery points, and in order to see if the quality of the lives our people is improving.

This is the reason why my team and I are always engaging with communities. In January every year we embark on the back to school campaign, which is aimed at supporting various schools and encouraging both educators and learners to work hard during the school year.

It is during these campaigns, where we are informed of various challenges that are facing certain schools, such as lack of modern ICT facilities and proper infrastructure, more especially in the rural area. As a person who grew up in the rural areas, I understand the importance of supporting our schools, more especially the ones in the rural areas.

Ladies and gentlemen;

We must bear in mind that schools are also service deliver points. Therefore the services offered by our government schools must also be of quality standard, so that the lives our children can be improved. By properly educating our children, we will be contributing immensely towards our goal of improving the living conditions of our communities.

This is one of the Schools we visited earlier this year as part of the back-to-school campaign. We heard the plea from the school, that they at least want the children to have access to computers and modern technology.

I am very happy that today we are delivering this ICT centre as per the plea from this school. This is proof that our programme of visiting our communities and service delivery points is indeed bearing fruits. The fruits of our work will be will be enjoyed by this generation of children, as well as the future generations.

Ladies and gentlemen;

Centres of this nature are scarce in the rural villages like Tshivhulana, and therefore today we are making history. This centre is equipped with computers with internet connection.

We are living in the world of technology, so our children must be able to acquire computer skills and learn how to use internet at their tender age. Gone are those days when our fathers used telegram to communicate with our mothers at homes. With internet, you just write and click the send button, so the information is reaching its destination within seconds.

Our children will read the weather on the internet and dress according to weather conditions. They will be able to see the variety of careers and chose the ones they like. They will learn more about their own country (SA) and also the current situation in other countries such as Zimbabwe, china, and others.

Internet will also connect them with their counterparts globally. Last week we visited a country called China, in the eastern parts of the world. We were inspired by the manner in which the Chinese are using technology in delivering government services to their people. It is something that we are intending to implement here in South Africa. There is something called e-government, which means that as the South African government, we will be using technology to render most of our services.

Ladies and gentlemen;

It is the children from this school who in the future will work in both the public and private sectors of our country. They will need to be equipped with proper computer training in order to render services to our people. Therefore the fact that they are going to start learning about this technology from age, puts them in a better position to be viewed as productive citizens, especially now in an era of the 4th industrial revolution.

When we say the 4th industrial revolution, we mean that an era is entering, wherein almost everything will be technology- based. You have cars that will drive themselves without a driver. You will have a school and a classroom without any paper being used. These are some of the things that our children must be ready for, and hence we are making these efforts to empower them from the young ages.

Ladies and gentlemen;

This facility is expensive and together you must jealously protect it. We grew-up without computers and internet at school, so you are fortunate. There are a lot of people who made efforts for this project to succeed. Therefore we must not disappoint them by neglecting this facility.

People will agree with me that government can’t do it alone. And therefore we need Public, Private, Partnerships to deliver certain projects.

This project succeeded through our partnership with the partners from the private sector. Light Fibre Infrastructure, which is a private Company donated the amount of R138 747.52 to build this centre. The Light Fibre Infrastructure negotiated with another private Company known as Liquid SA to also give a helping hand. Liquid SA donated the VSAT (Satellite) to the tune of R55 000. There is no need to buy Data. The internet will work Waya! Waya!

Allow me to acknowledge our guests from Light Fibre Infrastructure, who are in our midst. All representatives of our donors, please stand up so that our people can see you.

Ms Maropeng Seolonyane, from our donors, Light Fibre Infrastructure;

Mr Tinus Pretorius, from our donors, Light Fibre Infrastructure;

Ms Fareed Sheria, also from Light Fibre Infrasturucture;

Representatives of Liquid SA, who are also our donors.

Let us give them a big round of applause!

Ladies and gentlemen;

They are the main characters behind this project. The Light Fibre Infrastructure is known country wide for its job well done.

In recent years it has become apparent that fibre optics are steadily replacing copper wire as an appropriate means of signal transmission, and there is no doubt that fibre optics has changed the way we communicate. Audio, Data and Video can be transmitted seamlessly at high speeds along great distances and today, fibre provides the backbone and connectivity for many network systems.

Light Fibre delivers network build services to national service providers and end user customers. Their services is vast, and they offer a complete solution to your requirements including fibre optic cable design, engineering, installations, testing and commissioning.

They provide network consultation delivery viable and cost effective solutions, and offer a total solution of design and engineering services including strand mapping, network drafting and designing of fibre optic and RF backbones. Our quality construction including aerial and underground fibre utilizes state of the art fibre optic equipment.

Fibre optic networks operate at high speeds, up to gigabits; the bandwidth has large carry capacity; signals can be transmitted without needing to be refreshed or strengthened; fibre has a greater resistance to electromagnetic noise such as radios, motors or other nearby cables; and fibre optic cables cost much less to maintain, and have a far longer lifespan.

Programme Director!

In the few years to come, I want to see Doctors, Nurses, Engineers, Pilots, Scientists, journalists, educators and other trades produced from this school.

To educators, I say: Being an educators is a calling, so go on teaching our kids, don’t be short-hearted. Parents should also participate in the education of their children. What I know is that, all professionals and politicians like myself, passed through your hands as educators.

16 Day of activism

Ladies and gentlemen;

Today is the 25th November, the day where we launch the 16 days of activism campaign for no violence against women and children. This year’s theme is count me in: Together Moving a non-violent South African forward

As government we have always used this period to spread the message of peace and harmony within our families and society. This year we urge all of you to be involved in fighting and exposing deeds of violence against women and children.

We must raise our children in a peaceful environment, wherein they are able to learn that violence is not a proper way of resolving differences.

All of you must join hands in condemning the killing of women children in the country. We especially call on all men to lead and to make their voices heard during these campaign.

Our leaders such as traditional leaders, community leaders, religious leaders, and teachers, must be able to identify situations wherein women and children are being abused, and report such acts to relevant authorities. As government we are always committed to make our communities safe, and we have put in place several legislations that specifically deals with violence against women and children.

As community members and leaders you must familiarise yourselves with the laws our country. E.g. The Domestic Violence Act of 1998, Criminal Law Amendment Act (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Act of 2007, and the Protection from Harassment Act of 20111. We also have the Children’s Act of 2005, and the Children’s Amendment Act, which is aimed at, amongst other things, to protect children from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.

These laws must be utilised to protect our children and women from abuse and violence.

We are also currently commemorating the National Disability Rights Awareness Month. Together must continue to raise awareness and protect the rights of people living with disabilities. People living with disabilities must never be excluded from any activity in our communities merely because of their disabilities.

They must be included in the plans of the communities and the plans of the schools such as this one. Let us learn to live properly without discriminating them.

In conclusion;

The ICT project we are handing over here today, and service delivery monitoring visits we are doing in this area today, are not the last ones we ae embarking on.

We are hard work, trying to improve the living conditions of our communities. We will in the near future, hand over more ICT centres in Schools and communities. But this can only be possible if the private sector can also come and join us in the same way that our partners Light Fibre Infrastructure have done. When government, communities, and business, work together, success will always be guaranteed.

Thank you

Ri a livhuwa!

Source: Government of South Africa