Learners attending a Winter School Programme have been encouraged to keep the late Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu's dream alive by being the legacy.
This year is the centenary, it is 100 years of Tata Madiba and Mama Sisulu. These are two struggle giants who we celebrate with the theme: 'Be the legacy'. When we talk about our heroes, we talk about what they have done for us, what they have sacrificed for us. You wouldn't be seated here if it wasn't for them. That's why we say we must be the legacy of what they wanted us to be, said Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi on Wednesday.
The Minister was speaking during an Imbizo in Kameldrift where the department is hosting a Winter School Program. Over 100 learners from 22 schools from across the country have been adopted by the department are attending the program.
The purpose of the program is to expose Grades 10 and 12 pupils to the build and property career fields. The programme also seeks to promote the skills development in the built environment sector in line with the infrastructure plan.
He told a group of high school learners that the only way they would change their lives for the better is by studying.
If you dedicate yourself to your studies - one day you might end up being a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, through education. That's how important education is. Today education is not about toy-toying, it's not about disrespecting the teachers. Today you have all the opportunities and we are here to give those to you. This program is meant to open opportunities that were previously only reserved for the white. Today we are preparing you for those professions.
He urged the youth to grab this opportunity that the department has provided, with both hands.
[You] can only do that if you are working hard; if you respect your teachers and do your homework. If you do the basic things, you will succeed in life. Everything you do in life needs discipline, he said.
He reminded the learners at the programme of how lucky they were to have been selected.
He added that the department was investing in the learners and introducing them to the industry because it was struggling with engineers.
We are struggling with engineers. We don't have land surveyors, architects and artisans. We plan to rebuild the technical and professional capacity of Public Works and the state. The programme also seeks to promote the skills development in the skills environment in line with the infrastructure plan, he said.
He added: Today we regard education as the most important thing because we know that if you are educated, it's not easy for anyone to play with you. You know what is wrong or right. If you are an educated woman, no man will mess with you because you have your own profession.
Work and commitment put in the next few days or months will provide the launchpad for your future. It's not about here, it's about what you will be able to do with the information.
Source: South African Government News Agency