As the country celebrates the centenary year of former president, Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwart, Albertina Sisulu, 50 boys and girls from KwaZulu-Natal primary schools were presented with new school uniforms.
Pupils from the schools around Nodunga area – Petezi, Bhidakhona, Glendale, Ensikeni, ML Sultan Krantzkloof, Primary Schools – benefitted from uniforms sponsored by Tongaat Hulett in partnership with Nodunga Communal Property Association.
The donation came as a surprise for the pupils who returned from school holidays. They could not contain their excitement as they tried on their new school shoes and uniforms.
Many of the pupils come from an impoverished background and often arrive at school in uniforms that are in a torn and tattered state.
Steven Saunders, director of Tongaat Hulett, in his speech said that there is a big difference between a human being and being human. Nelson Mandela was one of the individuals in our society that understood this difference.
“Our hope is that this small contribution to the lives of a number of learners will make a difference, especially to the dignity of these children. Let us pledge to continue working for the ideals espoused by Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu and encourage every South African to do the same,” he said.
Nkonzo Mhlongo, the SED manager within Tongaat Hulett said that Tongaat Hulett remains committed to assisting the most vulnerable members of the communities where with company operates.
“Tongaat Hulett works with a wide range of stakeholders and partners to promote sustainable local economic development and improved quality of life including Treasurery through The Jobs Fund programme and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform,” she said.
Lindeni Cele, treasurer of Nodunga Communal Property Association said they pride ourselves on serving the community. Many of the pupils come from very poor, underdeveloped communities and they are happy they could make a positive difference.
“We hope that in future we will be able to donate computers to many of the schools in the area as children need to learn how to operate them from an early age,” said Cele.
Bongani Jiyane, operation’s manager within the Nodunga CPA also said that the partnership with Tongaat Hulett will go a long way in creating employment opportunities for the community members and improve the quality of life.
Both Tongaat Hulett and Nodunga Communal Property Association have committed themselves to working towards the implementation of the socio-economic development programmes in their respective beneficiary communities.
Principal of Glendale Primary School Lindiwe Mbongwe said, “It was an amazing day. These were children who were in desperate need of new uniforms and to see the difference this sponsorship has made is very heart warming. We are grateful and hope this will continue to happen.”
Principal of Petezi Primary School Elizabeth Mthembu said, “We feel very blessed, grateful and honoured. The children were so excited. We are so thankful and we hope to continue receiving support as many of the parents struggle to make ends meet and these kinds of initiatives are their last hope.”