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President Jacob Zuma says educating the nation should be the task of all South Africans, as it will help the country to prosper.

The President said this when he addressed Ministers, big business and golfers at the annual Presidential Golf Challenge gala dinner at Lagoon Beach Hotel.

The dinner, which is hosted by the Department of Public Service and Administration, is organised annually to help the Jacob G Zuma Education Trust to raise funds for bursaries of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“To me, education is a passion, the correct passion to deal with the bigger picture of our country. In other words, to have a skilled labour force, skilled citizenry, the kind of citizen that can create jobs rather than look for jobs.

“For 20 years, I have been talking to corporates, saying ‘this is your national task to contribute to the trust. You are in a sense participating in nation building’,” he said.

Prior to addressing the dinner, the President played golf with businessmen, Ministers and provincial government leaders at the Atlantic Beach Golf Estate in Cape Town to raise money for the Trust, which he established in 1995.

He said education is important as it is an equalizer.

“It is absolutely in keeping with the objectives of the country today to put education as an apex priority because if we want to reconstruct South Africa, we have to empower young people. We have to take them away from drugs and all other practices.

“It should be a national task to all of us and therefore those who want to go and study, it should be our task.”

Ever since its inception, the Trust has taken 25 000 beneficiaries to school.

Amanda Khuzwayo, 18, from KwaMashu near Durban, is, through the help of the Trust, studying geology at the University of Stellenbosch.

“I applied for a bursary because my stepfather was unemployed and we had financial challenges, which would have meant that I would have to look for a job straight after passing matric, should I not have gotten the bursary in 2016.

“I am tremendously grateful to be granted this bursary and be able to speak to South Africa’s leaders is something I could never have imagined. This is something my grandchildren would like to know about.

“I am now a second year student and my journey to becoming a professional geologist has begun …”

Sizwe Shezi, the Chairperson of the Jacob G Zuma RDP Education Trust, said in the period that the President has occupied the highest office in the land, the golf challenge has generated R36 million for the Trust.

He said through this assistance, 8 844 students have obtained their qualifications.

“All of this ... would not have been possible without the generosity offered,” said Shezi. – SAnews.gov.za







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