Please kindly allow me to take this opportunity and express my well-wishes to the GMM Class of 2017 as they prepare to sit down for their matriculation examinations starting this week.
I know that you have been preparing for these exams from the month of January and today as you sit down to write the final examinations, you are all combat ready.
Let me remind you that you are the Special Class of 2017, the year marking 100 years of the great leader of the South African revolution, President Oliver Reginal Thambo, who was an outstanding and distinguished mathematics teacher, astute lawyer and leader of the national liberation struggle with unquestionable moral values and disciplined character of the highest order.
As the Special Class of 2017, history has placed you in the current socio-economic and political epoch in order for you to write your own history.
As the first citizen of this great municipality in my capacity as executive mayor, I challenge all of you to emulate the astuteness, brilliance and intelligence of OR Thambo as we celebrate 100 years of his birth by committing to achieve 100 per cent pass rate in these final examinations.
I believe that education is very critical for human development in all aspects of human endeavour. Therefore, do not be confused by those in our communities who often say education is useless without money.
These are intoxicated utterances by those who do not have a vision to make this country a paragon of success and civility through the power that education possesses.
To the entire Govan Mbeki Municipality, you are what an emerging sun represents at dawn.
Let me quickly remind you that in the near future, you will be leaders in different fields of our social, political and economic life.
Those who are worried about the future of this country look at you for national inspiration and hope. For that, you all deserve a round of applause.
It is an indisputable truism that the success of this country largely depends on our young people getting education to improve the economic status of this country thereby improving their own lives and the lives of their families.
The political changes that took place in 1994 made it a point that the doors of learning were opened to all our people, especially those that were previously disadvantaged as a result of the racist policies of the Nationalist Party.
My dear principals, parents, members of SGBs, I must really emphasise the fact that our young people should not take this era of opportunities for granted. They should use these opportunities as much as they can to empower themselves in all spheres especially on the educational front.
There should be no excuses because there are many measures put in place by government to ensure that all deserving students are assisted to access higher education. There are bursary schemes, scholarships and other mechanisms that are openly accessible to the people for educational advancement.
Unlike during our days of schooling when only the children of the rich would go to university, today even a child of a poor domestic worker can become a world-acclaimed scientist or president of a country because of these many schemes that our government has introduced to open the doors of higher learning.
It is therefore incumbent upon all of you students and young people in general to stand up and grab these opportunities with both hands and become the brainpower of the economy of this country.
As you write your examinations, you should know that bursaries and scholarships are waiting for you to further your studies in the institutions of higher learning.
As I wish you all the best in your exams, I also want to re-emphasise the fact that education is a critical backbone of any nation in the world and that if African governments in general and the SA government in particular can invest more in education, all nations in the entire globe can flourish in all spheres of human endeavour and our country can take its seat in the league of developed nations.
And indeed, the future of any country rests on the shoulders of its youth and the youth must be educated and be empowered with all the necessary skills aimed at managing the economy effectively, efficiently and proficiently. In conclusion, I would like to say the ball is in your court to take these opportunities and use them profitably.
Ms Flora Maboa-Boltman, executive mayor, Govan Mbeki Municipality.
(Ed: Letter was shortened)
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