Speech by Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi on occasion of hoisting of the Flag and Hand over of the Media Classroom at Midrand Primary School in Midrand, Johannesburg

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26 Nov 2014

Programme director

Honourable Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms Pamela Tshwete;

Honourable Premier of Gauteng, Mr David Makhura;

MEC for Education, Mr Panyaza Lesufi;

Your Worship the Executive Mayor, Cllr Parks Tau;

City of Johannesburg MMC for EISD: Cllr.  Matshidiso Mfikoe;

Councillors present;

Rand Water representative;

Midrand Primary School: Acting Principal Mr. K Kgaabi;

Educators and learners;

Members of the media;

Ladies and gentlemen

Good Morning

A Buddhist proverb says that:

“If we facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking”

These words find resonance in this year’s theme for the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, which says “Count me in. Together moving a non-violent South Africa forward”.

This international campaign is observed from 25 November until 10 December to raise awareness of the negative impact that violence has on women, children and society.

It is equally important that we also address the impact that the shortage of water and inadequate sanitation has on the well-being and dignity of our people in particular women, children and persons with disabilities.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) are well understood to be critical in eradicating poverty, improving health, nutrition, education, gender equality and further enabling economic growth.

Our government has reached many milestones in delivering water and sanitation in the past twenty years but we remain steadfast that much still needs to be done as we usher in the third decade of our democracy.

It is programmes such as Baswa le Meetse (BLM) that would enable us to continue to preserve and conserve our precious resources using different arts mediums.

I am told that Midrand Primary School is the 2014 overall winner of the national BLM competitions in the Poster category. This programme not only helps us to conserve water but also to unleash the creative capabilities of our young people.

It is for this reason that we would like to reiterate our commitment to the partnership with both the Departments of Basic Education and Water and Sanitation.

Over and above Baswa le Meetse, the Department of Arts and Culture will continue to jointly implement the following programmes with our sister departments:

  • The South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod championship supports the work we do as a department such as promotion of access to the arts – by encouraging mass participation of youth in the creative endeavours, thus addressing negative forces that lead to inappropriate use of their leisure time.
  • Artists in Schools – This project positions and uses arts practitioners as a valuable resource in the delivery of the arts and culture subject in the schools. It is currently taking place in several schools in all the nine Provinces;
  • Train the Trainer (Capacity Building workshops for the arts and culture subject advisors and teachers) in support of the implementation of the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS);
  • Spelling Bee (Literacy Project) that seeks to inculcate the culture of reading amongst all the learners in the public schools.
  • Oral History competition – Children learn to recite their clan names.
  • Youth Water Summit – we will participate through exhibitions, dialogue on arts, culture, heritage, national identity and social cohesion.

Today Midrand Primary School will be counted amongst the schools that are flying the national flag as part of the Department of Arts and Culture’s Flag in every school project.

The Department committed to spend close to R34 million to put flags in all schools to inculcate the spirit of patriotism and the love for our country as well as to promote nation building, national identity and social cohesion.

To date, we have installed close to 13 000 flags in public schools.

This programme involves amongst others, hoisting of the National Flag, the correct etiquette of singing the National Anthem, the recital of the Preamble of the Constitution by the learners, distribution of the South African hand flags and publications on national symbols as well as the CD Tool Kit on how to sing the National Anthem.

We commit to install flags in all the schools that were previous winners of Baswa le Meetse as soon as you provide us with the list of those schools.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Honourable Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation for extending an invitation to me to be part of this event and more so for the partnership that we have established.

Let us continue to work together as we move South Africa forward.

I thank you..