Private Bag X1000
Dear President, Ramaphosa
I am Mnguni Bulelani, 14 years old and doing Grade 9 at Mathubesizwe Senior Secondary School. I write this letter to highlight the successes and experienced challenges within the 25 years of Freedom and Democracy. As I write this letter my heart is filled with joy, because of the positive changes which have been brought about by our democracy. I am forever grateful to John Langalibalele Dube, iNkosi Albert Luthuli as well as the Youth of 1976 and other struggle icons who fought for democracy the we celebrate today. What I like most with this democracy is that we are all given equal opportunities for example women are in leadership and decision-making positions.
As far as education is concerned, doors of teaching and learning are opened for all. We have free education. National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP)which was designed to ensure that children living in poor areas are fed healthy meals daily. This was implemented in 1994. We do not suffer from hunger as it used to be before 1994. We have highly qualified educators, because government offers them courses and bursaries to upgrade themselves. We have programmes that promote our physical, social, emotional and educational growth. As learners, we are benefiting from Shova Kalula bicycle project and buses have been provided for disadvantage learners like me. Our schools have security guards ensuring safety of learners and educators. We spend most of our time studying, because most schools have caretakers and cleaners who make sure that school premises and classrooms are clean. This creates a conducive environment for teaching and learning.
Our school shave better resources compared to those which were built during the Apartheid period. Corporal punishment was banned there foreit is a criminal offence to administer corporal punishment whether at school or home. We appreciate the Constitution that protects our rights. Today I can be enrolled in any best school depending on my interest and the location of the school Ihave chosen.I am currently attending in a school which is situated in deep rural area, but my education is the same as that of a learner from urban area.
Indeed, Mr President, we have a caring government. I am one of the learners who depend on social grants because there is no one working at home.I realise that there is a lot of improvement in our community.We have fewer houses made up of mud these days. The statistics shows that between 1994 and the start of 2001 over 1.1 million houses eligible for government subsidies were built, accommodating 5 million of the estimated 12.5 million South Africans who did not have proper houses. Before 1994 most communities including schools did not have clean water. Girls were often sent to fetch water for their homes from rivers. That water was usually shared with animals such as cattle and donkeys, but government is now supplying taps for both urban and rural communities.
South Africa was absent from international sport for most of the apartheid era due to sanctions, butI appreciate the fact that it started competing globally after the end of apartheid. In the Democratic dispensation, South Africa's culture is one of the most diverse in the world and has given rise to the term “Rainbow Nation”. With 11 official languages, the rich culture of each of these groups brings its own vibrancy to our diversity.
Regarding social factors, proponents of social networking sites say that the online communities promote increased interaction with friends and family. It offers teachers, librarians and learners the valuable access to educational support and materials; also facilitate social and political change; and disseminate useful information rapidly. I am attending at a best performing school, despite being poorly resourced. We do not have the computer laboratory, school library and playing grounds.In rural areas our schools and clinics are overcrowded and have limited resources.Universities are crowded and cannot enroll all the passed matriculants.
Having said all the beauty about our country I am however, very upset about the fact that we still have fellow learners who are raped by our brothers, uncles, fathers and in some cases by their educators. It is also very painful to think about learners who go missing due to human trafficking. People with albinism are killed day in and day out. The level of corruption in our country is a concern for all.I am afraid that I will perhaps be counted among those who will not be employed after completing their tertiary education because theunemployment rate has risen to 27.6%. It is also threatening that the Value Added Tax (VAT) has gone so high, I personally feel that 15% is too much.
We are still battling with poverty, inequality, crime and xenophobia. I am also disturbed by the fact that some of our schools are being vandalised by the same communities who are supposed to protect them. We still do not have enough infrastructures;Pit latrines are being used in most rural areas. Security is not tight, human trafficking and rape is increasing rapidly ……. [ RDP] housing delivery led to violent conflicts within communities.
I would recommend that the government transform the economy by encouraging entrepreneurs to create job opportunities. Our government must also come up with strategies which will ensure that our education is geared towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Programes that bring awareness and capacitate societies on gender based related issues must be prioritised. It is also important that the response services that do exist (like the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units at police stations be strengthened.The Thuthuzela Care Centres and the Sexual Offences Courts) are victim- centred and must be well equipped and well-funded, with enough human capacity. Rape perpetrators should be given harsh sentences. More funding should be made available for the eradication of school buildings that are made of mud. Proper ablution facilities for schools should be the priority of Government to avoid incidents of learners dying in pit toilets. This, off course will depend on the availability of funds.
I am fully persuaded that our country is in the capable hands and the challenges we are experiencing can be resolved.
I hope this letter will receive your attention.