Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday hosted the 15th Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust Children and Youth’s Christmas Outreach event at KwaNxamalala in Nkandla, northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The Presidency on Tuesday said close to 20 beneficiaries were introduced to the community, with some relating their plight and poor family backgrounds and how the Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust came to their rescue through meeting their educational needs and improving their lives.
The Trust was established in 1995 to assist orphans and children from poor families who could not afford school and higher education fees.
“The Education Trust has educated more than 20 000 children and students, including graduates in Accounting, Education, Architectural Studies, Biomedical Engineering, Marketing, Law, Science and Technology,” said the Presidency.
The beneficiaries included Wits University graduates in Biomedical Engineering Mvuyo Makhasi, University of KZN graduate in Architectural Studies Hlobisile Mngwengwe, as well as a BCom Accounting graduate from Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape, Mhlengi Ntenza.
“We are very pleased to see that the Education Trust we started in 1995 has grown in leaps and bounds and has helped to assist many families who could otherwise not afford the education of their children.
“I have always believed that by educating even one child, we are able to help not only the individual family but also the community around that family as well as the South African society at large,” said President Zuma.
He said education is the greatest enabler of development as it allowed people to grow and reach heights that were unimaginable without education.
“I am also pleased that among the graduates today are those who studied and successfully completed degrees and diplomas in science and technology. Such skills and qualifications are necessary for the country’s economic growth and development,” he said.
The President encouraged the business community to continue to assist the Trust as well as help the graduates find employment.
Children were entertained by a host of popular musical groups including Zakwe, Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Ifani, Thokozani Langa, DJ Merlon featuring Mondli and many others. They also received Christmas gift packs of food, sweets, toys and other essentials.
The event was attended by a number of Ministers including Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini; Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Labour Minister Mildred Olifant; Transport Minister Dipuo Peters; Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu; Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane; Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande; Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga; Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister David van Rooyen; Deputy Minister Ellen Molekane; Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu and Deputy Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize, as well as Premiers of Northern Cape and North West provinces, MECs, mayors, councillors and the political leadership of the governing African National Congress.