Public Protector says you don’t have to be a billionaire to make a difference
Speaking at the launch of the Redhill Foundation on Thursday, Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela said we all need to play our role to deliver the South Africa promised in our Constitution. Our Constitution promised a South Africa where the quality of life of all citizens would be improved and a freed potential of everyone.
She said through the launch of the Redhill Foundation, the school will continue to support talented learners and produce great leaders thus contributing to a better South Africa. She said such initiatives ensure that people are not condemned to an uneducated life for reasons other than their ability. She alluded to former President Nelson Mandela who once said “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. She applauded Redhill for changing the world that is right next to them through the Foundation.
“My mother used to say education is a great leveller. It is through education that a child of a domestic or farm worker can rise to the same level as a child of a doctor, lawyer or business person”, she said.
She appealed to current and prospective donors to help break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy by making a difference by providing opportunities to the less fortunate. She commended affluent South African families for donating a portion of their wealth to good causes, with education being one of their key focus areas.
Adv Madonsela said she was grateful to the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the United Nations and Swedish Churches for offering financial assistance to help further her studies. She said she like many other South Africans, would not have received an education had it not been for the support and generosity of various good human beings from various countries across the world. She said she was able to access quality education from high school through to university and pursued a career of her choice through donor funding.
The Public Protector said initiatives of private schools such a Redhill are commendable and should be emulated. She said it is important for the quality of education in public schools to be the same as private schools and indicated that this is where her office steps in to ensure that public funds are used properly towards the realisation of the Constitutional dream. She said situations where learning takes place under a tree, no school days during rainy seasons and learners drowning in human excrement while using a pit latrine should be a thing of the past.
When referring to the slogan of the school “Free to Build”, Adv Madonsela said Redhill must continue to build a community of giving for education. She said it is reassuring to see civil society playing its part and contributing resources towards education.
In conclusion, Adv Madonsela wished the school well and said she wishes to see the example set by Redhill being replicated elsewhere in the country and reiterated that all South African have a role to play in ensuring that the promises made by our Constitution are not reduced to mere aspirations but become a reality that will give meaning to democracy.
Spokesperson for the Public Protector
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399