Merafong City Local Municipality partnered with AngloGold Ashanti at the Annual Mayoral Matric Excellence award for 2015 Academic year.

The Annual Mayoral Matric Excellence Awards function was held on the evening of Thursday, 14 January 2016 at the Carletonville Civic Centre.

Mr. Seun Mahuma, South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) Secretary shared his motivation with the celebrants as he said “it takes hard work, diligence and care to produce such fruits as teachers; it is through both the work of the teachers and learners that we are here tonight. I salute you matriculants you have done us proud! South Africa needs skills; you should check which qualifications are in demand so that you can shift your careers towards that. Choose a career that will be transformed into a skill that will make you successful, use that skill to make our country a better place”, he said.

Mr. Mahuma advised that through Funza Lushaka Bursary any learner can apply for four years teaching qualification.

Indeed teaching is a career that gives birth to other careers as emphasized throughout the speeches of the speakers that night. Parents were also advised to always check the work of their children and help them improve in their school work; the School Governing Bodies (SGB’s) in each school are there to help the parents.

Acting Principal from Letsatsing Combined School, Mr. Zwelihle Magwijana; chosen by the principals to represent them also had a few words to share “I am very grateful for the event as it will also inspire the 2016 Top 10 learners. Matriculants of 2015 congratulations once more after 13 years (including Grade R) of schooling you made it. You are now the ambassadors of West Rand, Merafong and different schools; carry the name of the district high”, he concluded.

“The province committed that the top 3 learners in all townships will receive free bursaries from Gauteng Government. There’s also a second commitment from our office which is the Second Chance Programme for those who were not able to make it; we are saying that we will be working together with AngloGold Ashanti (AGA). Myself, Mr. Simeon Moloko and Dr. Oupa Nkagisang have started with the engagements what we need is to implement. We have a programme called Tshepo (which means hope) 500 000 which intends to give young people a second chance in education in case they did not do well. All races have the right to education, if your parents can’t afford do contact our offices for support”, Mr. Simon Molefe, ANCYL Deputy Chairperson uttered.

Mr. Molefe also mentioned that there’s also encouragement for those who cannot access varsity, they can attend at FET colleges and receive the necessary support. He pleaded with the mining sector in Merafong to employ academics who grew up here to find its solution to its future.

He added that matriculants should choose mining careers so that they can earn opportunities in the near mining industries.

The late president of the ANC once said “the nation that does not invest in its youth, does not value its future”. With that being said, AGA is proud to be one of the organizations which invest in the future through the learners’ education.

Mr. Oupa Kwapeng, Circuit Manager in the District; added on by saying how much he is proud of being a member of Gauteng West Rand District which is the best performing district in the country. “I would like to thank the learners, teachers and parents for their hard work. This is the best district because we are number 2 out of 81 districts in the country. When I check my stats it looks like we are the only district in this country who, in terms of performance; managed to obtain 90% over the three conservative years”, he said.

The gap between the so-called township schools and the so-called former model C schools was narrowed; as a result parents are offered an opportunity to school their children at any school in the township for quality education. 13 schools in this district which managed to get 100%, amongst that schools the so-called township schools are included.

Mr. Simeon Mighty Moloko, SVP Sustainability thanked the Executive Mayor as it is the 3rd year as AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) that they have partnered with Merafong Local Municipality in this occasion. “We started this partnership after the elections of the current administration and we look at several things as the company as to how we can intervene and work together. As we are now going to the elections this year, it is proper that I can now say with much confidence that we as leadership have done a lot. We built schools, laboratories and libraries in schools; much as community members complain from time to time to say that we have invested almost 70% of AngloGold Ashanti’s (AGA’s) Social and Labour Plan in Education, I always had to convince them that yes in a short term it might not solve the abbreviated problems. However with education we are dealing with a medium to long term Strategy”, he said.

He also stated that if you look at the National Development Plan Vision 2030, the priority of government is education and he acknowledged the Executive Mayor for being so passionate about AngloGold Ashanti’s (AGA’s) education programmes such as star schools, career expo and more. The Future Forum namely AMCU, UASA and NUM also blessed us with their present.

Nelson Mandela left us with a very powerful message that says “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

Thuto Kitso High School did very well as they moved from 60% to 71%, last year a learner there has managed to get 100% on physical science despite the limited resources. This year the teacher did it again and the result is Mr. Siboniso Boholo. Next year teachers are going to be recognized, there will be an award dedicated to the deserving teachers.

Cllr. Maphefo Mogale-Letsie, Executive Mayor said “We value our relationship with AngloGold Ashanti (AGA), our trade unions, Teba Bank and all present here today. As the leading party in this Municipality, let’s make sure the National Development Plan (NDP) is implemented in our area.

Merafong didn’t perform well with 84.5 which lead us to the last on the log at our district. We have invested in the education of our children and we will focus on achieving better results and working together. Let us not forget that Gauteng secured a second position nationally at the percentage of 84.2% in terms of performance. Congratulations and please do keep the flag of Merafong flying high”, she said.