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Madiba delivers the late Queen Modjadji's dream

News - Date: 18 October 2002

Written by: Ndivhuwo Musetha / Viewed: 2658


MODJADJI - Former president Nelson Mandela fulfilled his promise to the late Rain Queen Modjadji the fifth, with the official opening of an agricultural high school and clinic at Ga-Modjadji, near Tzaneen last week Friday.

A leading international industrial brand management company, Barloworld, funded the project, Mandela Barloworld Agricultural High School and Modjadji V. This facility became a reality after Mandela made a personal appeal to Barloworld's chairman, Mr Warren Clewlow, to fund it, after he was approached by the late Queen Modjadji.

Mandela said the facility, which is the first of its kind in the area, is the realisation of the dream of the late Queen Modjadji V. She always had this idea of building learning and health care centre for her community.

Mandela said it was important for traditional leaders to be recognized as "they are complaining about the way government treats them." To the applause of hundreds of people, Mandela said he believed Modjadji should be respected, not only in South Africa, but also at the international arena level. He also promised to send the next Queen of Modjadji to England, so that she can learn from the British traditional leadership.

Mandela, who said he was instrumental in the building of six schools and three clinics in Limpopo Province, like he did in all other provinces, said the provision of the two projects was a clear indication that the private sector is willing to help the government to provide important infrastructure in rural areas, as government cannot do it alone.

"This is a clear indication that the present government provides opportunity to everyone according to their needs, without looking at their colour. I have helped many white children to get scholarships including Indians, coloureds and blacks. Barloword is one of the private sector industries that is committed to helping in the development of our community," said Mandela.

Barloworld's Chief Executive Officer, Tony Phillip said, "Mandela has often pointed out that things that many of us in the cities take for granted, like schools, clean water and clinics are often unavailable in rural areas. He said government alone cannot cope with the demand for basic facilities and Barloworld believes that it is incumbent on the business sector to assist wherever possible," said Phillips.

Phillips said Barloworld directs its social investment to areas where it can make a real difference and have a positive impact in the community. He said, "Education has been a key focus area of the company's corporate social investment programme because they believe that education and youth development are important for the future success of the country."

"For Barloworld, the completion of this project could not have come at a more appropriate time as it coincides with our 100 years anniversary and forms part of our century celebration."

The construction of the project took less than a year, using only local sub-contractors and making extensive use of local material suppliers. The gabled walls of the school are built out of the rocks collected from the mountains of Modjadji by the local community.

The school accommodates about 360 learners, with eight general classrooms, two multi-purpose classrooms, two laboratories, two workshops, two implement hangars and a cattle pen.

To encourage this first group of learners to perform at their best, the former president has signed post-dated matric certificates for them that they will receive when they successfully complete matric in 2006.

Meanwhile, the state of the art clinic will provide a much-needed primary health care service to the community and boasts a maternity ward, day patient facilities and a consulting room for one doctor and four nursing sisters. Minor operations can also be carried out at the clinic.

Mandela also opened new classrooms at Tshivhase Secondary School in Venda, on Wednesday. The classrooms were sponsored for R5 million by Nail to the Tshivhase Development Foundation some few years ago.

On behalf of Nail, Mandela handed over the donation to the Tshivhase and Mphephu Secondary schools. Mphephu secondary school was also sponsored for R5 million. It is believed Mphephu's classes will be opened early next year.



Ndivhuwo Musetha


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