The upcoming Presidential Address Golf Challenge (PAGC), due to take place in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, promises to be even more successful than last year’s edition.
This became evident at the annual charity tournament’s preliminary gathering in Centurion last Friday night as sponsors and donors’ monetary pledges easily topped a R7 million mark.
Traditionally hosted by the Minister for Public Service and Administration since its inception in 2003, the PAGC is a fundraising exercise for an initiative by the President, with the Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust being the recipient charity.
As has become the norm, this year’s charity tournament will take place this Friday — a day after President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address — at the up—market De Zalze Golf Estate. The theme of this year’s tournament is "A Hole in One for Education".
The fund raising gala dinner in Centurion was attended by both President Zuma and Minister Roy Padayachie, among senior DPSA officials, business people and executives of donor companies such as Multi Choice, Metropolitan, Momentum, Vodacom, Telkom, SAS, SAP, KWV, GEMS and AG Software who made their pledges ahead of the tournament.
Urging for support of the Trust, President Zuma related his passion for education which he himself could never attain until he taught himself.
He kept his audience in constant laughter as he recounted methods and strategies that he used in teaching himself how to read and write. He joked that no teacher in the world can ever claim to have taught him.
On a serious note, the President explained at length the importance of education and how he started the Trust in 1995.
"Education has always been the key to success on anything. When you are less educated you are vulnerable to all sorts of discrimination and abuse. It was due to the hardships I encountered in my childhood that I took a firm decision to ensure that my children will get education," he said.
Thanking donors for their support, the President said contributions to the Trust would go a long way towards building the nation through education.
"I appreciate this gesture as it not only helps the Trust but the entire nation. Any nation that does not educate its young will never fully develop," he said.
This current academic year the Trust is supporting over 1 200 needy learners from provinces including Eastern Cape, KwaZulu—Natal and Limpopo, most of whom are at tertiary level.
Over the past 15 years of its existence, the Trust has helped more than 20 000 young people some of whom the President said are already helping the needy in their own communities or making donations to the Trust in appreciation.Zingisile Mapazi