Address by Dr Tshepo Motsepe at the launch of the Pink Classrooms/Safe Spaces at Khatlamping Primary School, Tembisa, Gauteng
Education District Director of Ekurhuleni North, Ms Nonceba Ntuta
The delegation from the Infrastructure delivery management
Principal of Kgatlamping Primary School, Mr. Teboho Mofokeng and your Deputy Ms Ivy Seoleseng
Principals of neighbouring schools,
Founder of the Pink Forum, Ms Mandisa Jiyane,
Chairperson of the SGB of Kgatlamping Primary School, Jacob Mokobane
Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Community Policing Forum (CFP),
Representative of Imbewu, Ms Lebogang Mbewe,
Social Workers and Educators,
Representatives of local, provincial and national government,
Learners of Kgatlamping Primary School who are here today
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is an honour for me to join you here today to formally launch these facilities that will play an important role in uplifting the young people of the community.
It is heart-warming to see young people take the responsibility to address the challenges faced by other young people. To perform good deeds is our most glorious task as humankind, and the good thing about good deeds is that they are contagious. It is my hope, this wonderful gesture, will be copied elsewhere, so that more of our country’s young people can receive the benefits of a project such as this one.
It is not an easy time to be a young person. Though they face many of the challenges which young people faced in the past, others are new and even larger, such as online bullying, lack of parental guidance and support, exposure to drugs and alcohol, peer pressure and issues of self-esteem.
Above all, our young people are directly affected by the high levels of violence in our country, including gender-based violence.
What we witnessing here today is highly commendable, as it speaks of issues that plague the progress of young people and communities.
You have miraculously turned these classrooms into havens of hope and safety. You have created spaces that enable our young people to break their silences, not only about their difficulties but also to express their hopes and dreams.
I see this initiative as a key at a door that seeks to unlock the potential of the children of Kgatlamping Primary School into becoming the best that they can be, and who will grow up to be the responsible and dynamic citizens that our country needs.
It certainly takes a village to raise a child.
Given the kinds of challenges that young people face in their formative years, it becomes important for community structures to work very closely together. Be it as a government with social development and education, the SAPS and Community Policing Forums, community-based organisations as well as parents, to create safe and enabling environments for the leaders of our future.
The role of community organisations should not be under-estimated. They exist within our communities and have their fingers on the pulse of what happens on the ground.
They deserve our support and need to be encouraged to do more with such initiatives. They are the agents that can bring the most immediate assistance to our communities.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It's sad to see young children who are victims of violence even at the hands of other children not knowing where to go. The children of this school will now have this place to come to.
These Pink Rooms, with the Career and Entrepreneurs as well as the Art Hubs that we saw this morning, will also be incubators of talent. They will be a place for our young people to dare to dream and to have their talents encouraged.
I am deeply touched by this initiative and wish to applaud the Pink Forum, Kgatlamping Primary School and all the stakeholders who have made this happen. This is a very noble course indeed.
I have no doubt that these Pink Rooms will indeed be avenues of enrichment for the children and people of Tembisa: a place whose name itself speaks to the greatest virtue of all, and that is hope.
The Pink Forum gives me hope. It must give us all hope. For it is hope that we sorely need in these troubled times.
I congratulate all who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring us to this point. I wish you success and look forward to seeing such initiatives being replicated in other parts of our country.
I thank you