Firstly, let me acknowledge my overlapping mandates. On the one hand I have been invited to speak in my capacity as the General Secretary of the SACP and on the other, and I assume, Comrades expect me to shed light on progress we are making in relation to implementation of the Polokwane resolutions, particularly on post-schooling and continuing education sector.
As COSATU we are pleased to have been invited to address the National General Council under the theme “Organise and Empower Education Workers to Deliver Free Quality Public Education and Build Socialism”.
I am certainly honoured and delighted to be part of this occasion to celebrate the Women’s Month. The theme for this year’s Women’s Moth is “56 years of women united against poverty, inequality and unemployment”. This is in recognition of the 56th anniversary of that heroic day when the women of this country marched to the Union Buildings and dared the then Prime Minister JG Strydom and his government to stand in their way saying “wa thinth’abafazi, wa thinth’ imbokodo”.
We are pleased to have been invited to give an input in this important occasion
We are able to do this with pride because there are women who walked a dangerous path and travelled where others dared to do so. They created new paths and set new horizons.
Today is the 56th anniversary of the women’s march that took place on 9 August 1956. On this day over 20,000 women of all races and all ages marched to the Union Building in Pretoria against passes.
Let’s remember some of the leaders – Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Sophie Williams and Amina Cachalia. Some of the organisers of the march, such as Ray Alexander, could not be present because they were banned. The march was organized by the South African Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW).
We are, indeed, humbled to be part of this August occasion of your Provincial Music Competitions.
We must say, chairperson, that this event takes place during an important time in the political calendar of this country.
It is the year of the Centenary celebrations of the African National Congress and this forms part thereof
It is the Mandela Month after we celebrated Cde Nelson Mandela`s 94th birthday a few days ago. As the celebrations continue throughout the month, Sadtu Northern Cape saw it fit to hold their music competitions, as part of singing for our icon. The Sadtu National event will also take place tomorrow, where our leaders and staff will be painting a school in Tembisa, Gauteng and giving out food parcels to the needy. Sadtu will also engage learners, parents, teachers and the community on Quality Teaching and Learning while providing wellness services to all.
Address of the Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe,On the Occasion of the ANC Education Summit: "Consolidating towards the achievement of quality education"
At the Velmore Conference Centre, Erasmia, Tshwane
April 12th 2012
Delegates of SADTU from across the length and breadth of the country I greet you in the name of our struggle to transform the South African Education System.