Speech delivered by the Honourable Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele at the hand-over of a SITA-sponsored computer lab to Veritas High School in De Aar, Northern Cape
21 June 2016
Thank you Programme Director,
Premier Sylvia Lucas
Executive Mayor Cllr John Lolwana,
Veritas High School SGB Chairperson
Veritas High School Principal
Government and SOC officials
Our special guests, the parents and learners of Veritas,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dit is vir my ‘n eer om saam met u hier te wees. Dit is vandag ‘n spesiale dag omdat ons will probeer om ‘n vennootskap met die jong mense van hierdie skool en De Aar in sy geheel te vestig.
We are investing in their future so that we can have a prosperous future. To us, young people matter.
Op 16 Junie twintig sestien het ons die veertigste jaar van die neentien ses en seventig Soweto opstande wat gelei is deur jong mense herdenk. Vandag is spesiaal omdat dit ons veertig jaar terugneem waar die gebeure daar ons land verander het. Ons kan dus se dat jong mense met die nodige leiding en rigting ‘n betekenisvolle bydra in enige gemeenskap kan maak.
Their historic march against the unjust system of Apartheid led to a series of events that ultimately delivered a democratic government of the people.
In commemorating the bravery of the youth of 1976 and reflecting on the achievements, challenges and opportunities facing young people of today, President Jacob Zuma said the following;
“Today we also live in a country where government has a systematic, continuous clear programmes of providing basic services that improve the quality of life to our people”.
Hierdie programme sal inderdaad alle burgers bereik. Dat sal egte nie almal op dieselfde tyd bereik nie. Ons vrae nederig dat u geduldig met ons sal wees.
One programme where my Department is playing a key facilitatory role in is Operation Phakisa: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Education.
Operation Phakisa aims to accelerate the implementation of solutions on critical developmental priorities highlighted in the National Development Plan.
Met die aanbreek van demokrasie was opvoeding en onderwys vir die regering van die dag ‘n prioriteit. Ons kan rapoorteer dat die meeste van die skole in ons land geen skoolfonds hef nie.
Die Nasionale Studente Finansiele Skema het R14.5 biljoen opsy gesit vir arm studente vir hierdie jaar. Hierdie is slegs ’n paar voorbeelde van wat die regering tot dusver vir die jong mense van die land probeer doen.
In a nutshell, Operation Phakisa: ICT in Education is a holistic mechanism to fast-track the adoption and integration of ICT in schools and classrooms.
This computer lab that we are handing over today is a step in that direction. President Jacob Zuma has also directed that my department should pilot the rollout of broadband, or affordable, fast, reliable and secure internet, to eight rural district municipalities. The Pixley KaSeme District Municipality has been identified as one of these eight municipalities.
Ons beoog om hierdie munisipaliteite en alle staatsinstellings om te skakel na breeband internet infrastruktuur. Hierdie instellings sluit in skole, gesondheidsinstellings, polisiestasies, asook korrektiewe dienste.
The President’s call is in line with the Constitutional principle that precludes the State from unfairly discriminating against any citizen, including discrimination on the basis of social origin.
Many of you already have smartphones and are already using the internet. We want more citizens of Pixley KaSeme District to use the internet to advance themselves. This is because we want to eliminate the digital divide. The internet has emerged as the most powerful equaliser in society in recent times. But, an unequal access to internet will mean that those who do not have access will be left behind in this information revolution. This leads to a widening of the digital divide. There is no reason for learners in De Aar to have a dissimilar access to information and opportunities that facilitated by the internet compared to learners that are in Johannesburg or Cape Town.
Ter voorbereiding vir die toekoms van Pixley KaSeme Distrik, het my department in Maart twintig sestien, nege en twintig jong mense opgelei in basiese internet vaardighede. ’n Verdere twee en dertig jong mense was by Hoerskool Umsobomvu in Colesberg in April opgelei.
Die opleiding was gedoen in vernootskap met die Nasionale Elektroniese Media Instituut van Suid Afrika en die Afrika Sentrum vir Uitnemendheid in Informasie Etiek. Hierdie jong mense is nou ons ambassadeurs in ICT vaardighede en om hierdie vaardighede in die Distrik uit te bou en ook om digitale geletterheid te verbeter.
The young people have been trained in the following areas:
• The Internet
• Social Media & Blogging
• Mail & Messaging (MS.Outlook/Electronic Mail)
• Cloud Storage: Dropbox
• Word Processing (MS.Word)
• Working with Spreadsheet
• Presentation skills
Ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me to speak about some of the opportunities that the computer lab we are handing over today will facilitate.
I would like to acknowledge that the learners of Veritas High are demonstrating the same ferocious appetite for self-upliftment as the youth of 1976. Your presence today, even after you have finished writing your mid-year exams, says to me you attach high importance to your education and empowerment. You are showing that you care about uplifting your community. You choose to be here when you could have easily opted to be at home or elsewhere. We are happy to partner with such youth to move South Africa forward. The youth of 1976 also cared about their society.
The computer lab SITA has sponsored to this school is state of the art. You must use it to empower yourselves.
You can start by researching career options that you want to pursue. The Grade 12 learners can also check which universities or Technical Vocational Education and Training colleges offer opportunities for post matric education. You must also start now to apply for admission into the institution of your choice. If you opt for a private college, make sure that it is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training. This will help you to avoid the stress of paying registration fees to fly-by-night institutions that will disappear with your parent’s hard earned money and leave your dreams in tatters.
I am excited about opportunities in the Northern Cape. Last year, I visited the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), near Carnavon. This is the largest science project of its kind in the world and it is based here, in your province. The project is collecting huge amounts of data about space to try and answer some scientific questions. There are opportunities for astronomers, data miners and data engineers. The SKA will also need technicians to maintain the telescopic dishes and other infrastructure that is critical to it. More SKA workers should, over time, come from this province. There is no reason that some of you can’t end up working there.
Die instelling van breeband internet verg tegnikusse wat in staat is om die netwerke te kan herstel en instand te hou. Ons benodig ook ontwikkelaars van sagteware wat vir ons sagteware kan ontwikkel waarmee ons plaaslike probleme kan oplos. Daar is geen rede waarom leerders van De Aar nie hierdie sagterware ontwikkelaars kan wees nie. Ons benodig ook regs en finansiele vaardighede in hierdie ontwikkelende sektor. Die van julle wat prokereurs en finansiele beamptes wil word kan gerus eers ‘n kwalifikasie in ICT kry.
After seeing the award-winning car past learners of this school produced, I am convinced that your generation has the capability to produce professionals in the ICT field.
Government is investing heavily on renewable energy, as we continuously seek to reduce the negative impact of humanity on our universe. Most of this investment is taking place in this province. Empower yourselves by researching opportunities you can follow in this field.
I urge you to use the lab to look up career opportunities in these areas I’ve mention, including in the careers that are a strength of the province such as agriculture and mining.
Jong mense van vandag het te doen met uitdagings wat alkoholmisbruik, dwelm misbruik en seksuele misbruik insluit. Hierdie misbruike het reeds duisende en indien nie miljoene jong mense se lewe verwoes. Dit verwoes families en gemeenskape en julle moet weier om deel van hierdie statistiek te wees. Se NEE vir alkohol, dwelm en seksuele misbruike. Se nee vir seks voor opvoeding. Seksuele aktiwiteite kan lei to swangerskap, seksuel oordraagbare siektes en HiV. Seks kan wag. Dit is in elk geval baie lekkerder en beter as jy ouer en getroud is.
As you increasingly use the internet, remember that in cyberspace some of the information is harmful and some of the people you meet have bad intensions.
You must keep your personal information private. You should not publicise your identity number because in real life you don’t give it to everyone you meet. You must also steer clear of racist commentary because reckless comments on social media have real life consequences. Besides, racist comments go against the inclusive and prosperous society we are building.
The Department has a cybersecurity hub that helps citizens to report instances of cybercrime and advise you on how to conduct your business in cyberspace.
I call on you, the learners and parents to protect this school and the computer lab we are handing over. This is your school and computer lab. It is an investment into your community and the future of your children. Make sure that the future high school learners will find it in good working order.