Crisp winds sweep over the rolling hills of Hlabati, a homestead located between Mthatha and Qumbu in the Eastern Cape, where a group of brightly clad young men rumble along on horses as local cows threaten to barricade the snaking roads.
Whistles in their mouths, the young men were part of the Department of Basic Education’s handover of Dweba Primary School to the Hlabati community, fascilated by Provincial Legislature Member Mpumelelo Saziwa.
“This school boasts state-of-the-art facilities, such as a science laboratory, fully-resourced library and a nutrition centre. The school’s 578 pupils have a welcoming space. It’s an institution of learning that will nurture the minds of the nation’s future leaders,” said Saziwa.
The handover resulted from the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI).
With 134 schools completed in the Eastern Cape alone, the province is ASIDI’s highest benefactor. Another 248 schools have been provided with water, 167 with sanitation and 180 with electricity.
“For many of us we could only dream of having such a world-class facility here in Hlabati. We look forward to presenting to the nation some of the Eastern Cape’s best learners in the near future,” said principal Jacob George.
The objective of the ASIDI is to eradicate the basic safety norms backlog in schools without water, sanitation and electricity, and to replace those schools constructed from inappropriate material to contribute towards levels of optimum learning and teaching. The Schools Infrastructure Backlog Grant funds the ASIDI portfolio.