Saturday, June 18, 2016

Zuma Blames Apartheid Regime
June 17, 2016

JOHANNESBURG. — The apartheid regime disadvantaged the country and economy by denying black people an education, President Jacob Zuma told a crowd of supporters at a Youth Day celebration held at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

“By denying the majority of the population quality education, the apartheid regime disadvantaged the country and the South African economy immensely,” he said.

“Given the usage of education as an instrument of subjugation by the apartheid regime, the democratic government decided to make education an instrument of liberation.”

President Zuma said education was an apex priority for the current government which is why it received the biggest chunk of the national budget.

He said government had built new schools and refurbished others to improve the learning environment.

“Government has built 795 schools since 2009, at a cost of R23 billion. We have built 78 new libraries in addition to 304 that have been upgraded. To improve access to education, at least 80 percent of our public schools are now no-fee schools and nine million children are exempted from paying school fees,” he said.

Zuma said in that way the country was making progress on free basic education for the poor and the working class. He said poverty should not prevent a child from obtaining an education.

“Nine million children also receive free meals at school, as hunger must not prevent children from poor households from performing at their optimal level in school,” he said.

Meanwhile, thirteen-year-old Lesedi Mashinini, niece of Tsietsie Mashinini — who was at the forefront of the Soweto Uprising — thanked the government for not forgetting all those killed on June 16, 1976.

Their blood has nourished and paved the way for the democracy that the country enjoys, she said on behalf of the families who lost loved ones on that fateful day 40 years ago.

“I stand here the niece of my proud uncle Tsietsie Mashinini who sacrificed his life.

“This families asked me to stand here to thank you, the government, for recognising our fallen family members,” she told a crowd of thousands at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

“(Thank you for) reminding the country that without their blood there wouldn’t be this democracy we are enjoying.”

Lesedi also called on the youth of today to stay away from drugs and to focus on tackling their different challenges.

“I would like to remind the youth that the only person who can liberate you is yourself through education. No to drugs, no to abuse of women and children and no to burning of schools,” she said.

— News24.

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