The Minister for Public Service and Administration, accompanied by Frances Baard District Municipality Executive Mayor, Cllr. Unondumiso Buda, and MEC for the Northern Cape Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements, and Traditional Affairs, Mr. Bentley Vass, visited the Kimberley Academy in Galeshewe.

The purpose of the visit was to assess the progress of the school’s completion. Minister Kiviet visited in her capacity as the national District Development Model champion for the Frances Baard District Municipality.

The school is one of the catalytic projects undertaken by the district to foster collaboration among all levels of government through investments in significant infrastructure projects. These projects include the Kimberly Academy (formerly Redirile Primary School), the construction of the new magistrate’s court in Jan Kempdorp, and the Vaalharts revitalization projects.

During Minister Kiviet’s previous visit, the construction progress of the school was reported at 81%. As of now, the progress rate stands at 98%.

Classrooms have been handed over, and the school has opened its doors to learners from the nearby Galeshewe township. Currently, the school has an enrollment of 300 learners from Grade R-7, with 16 educators.

Minister Kiviet expressed satisfaction that the school is now fully functional. “This gives us confidence that the facility will not become a white elephant,” she said.

With a value exceeding R187 million, the academy boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including a swimming pool, school hall, nutrition kitchen, CCTV control room, emergency medical room, stationery storage room, sports field, and Grade R recreational facilities.

During the visit, Minister Kiviet received a briefing from the Circuit Manager for Education in the Frances Baard District, Ms. Manwedi Thulo, and the acting school principal, Mr. Clifton Busakwe.

Minister Kiviet expressed concern about the school’s annual fee of R13,500 per learner, stating that such fees could further deepen inequality in society.

“Furthermore, if the community does not feel a sense of ownership due to the expensive school fees, it could lead to potential problems that may impact the school’s operations,” added the Minister.

The Circuit Manager responsible for Education assured the Minister that parents were willing to pay the monthly installment for fees, and plans were in place to accommodate parents facing challenges with the school fees.

Minister Kiviet pledged to address the issues raised by the school and ensure they are communicated to the relevant government entities so that the learning process is not affected.

The Minister’s visit to the school highlights the government’s commitment to education and the promotion of cooperation among the three levels of government.