In her keynote address at the ceremony to officially hand over millions of rands worth of community assets, the Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ms Noxolo Kiviet, called upon the beneficiary schools and communities to jealously guard these educational and social investments.

“I want to appeal to the community to understand that these schools are there to nurture these children to grow better minds. In the future, the children from these schools will be making decisions on your behalf when you are too old to do so,” the Minister told community leaders, principals, and learners at the hand-over ceremony at Lungiso High School on the outskirts of Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape province on Friday, July 28, 2023.

A partnership between Kouga Wind Farm Community Development Trust (KWF-CDT), the provincial education department, the Kouga Municipality, communities, and schools has seen the inflow of school infrastructure investments in the communities where the Kouga Wind Farm alternative energy company operates. Through the KWF-CDT, established in 2018, the private company has invested millions of rand in social and development projects to fulfill the licensing condition per government policies.

A few hours before the official launch, Minister Kiviet, provincial education officials, and other dignitaries were given a tour of schools that had benefited from various infrastructure projects supported by the KWF-CDT during the 2022 financial year. The projects range from providing additional classrooms to retrofitting ablution infrastructure to manage water resources and mitigate the drought that the region still experiences.

Over the past 12 months, the KWF-CDT also sought to improve educational outcomes in the four beneficiary schools. The direct support in educating children from beneficiary communities came in the form of building science and technology laboratories, including a Wi-Fi network, robotics, and coding equipment, which could be vulnerable to criminality and vandalism.

During the tour, the principal of Kruisfontein Primary School demonstrated the efficacy of the recently installed customised safe room for storing expensive robotics and coding equipment, including laptop computers. According to the principal, safety precautions are necessary to protect millions of rand of education infrastructure and equipment, often seen as easy pickings by criminal elements in communities.

“Nobody would like people without knowledge of the dynamics to take decisions affecting them, so looking after these schools becomes a community responsibility. The Department of Education has fenced the school, marking the boundary where certain things cannot be allowed. Therefore, let us as communities protect our schools,” urged Minister Kiviet, as she provided strategic leadership as a Member of Parliament for the Gamtoots Valley and surrounding communities of the Eastern Cape province.