A brighter day and a new beginning for disadvantaged learners dawned on the 27th February 2015 at Msobomnvu Hall as Mnquma local Municipality in collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs, DEDEAT, SASSA, Health and Social Development held a "Back To School” campaign.

The campaign targeted disadvantaged children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Butterworth, Ngqamakwe and Centane, stressing that education is one of the municipality’s primary social responsibilities. The intervention of providing Learners with school uniforms was for various reasons. The municipality’s objective of continuing with such a campaign was to

  • ensure access to basic education for all children regardless of race, gender, disability,      geographical location and socio-economic status

  • motivate underprivileged children within our community to attend school irrespective of their social background

  • extend a gesture of caring and respect of children on behalf of the municipality.

The Executive Mayor of Mnquma Local Municipality Cllr B. Ganjana, giving words of wisdom and encouragement to the learners as well as the Teachers that educate them said: ‘‘These children should not forget about their parents, their community and the dignity that they have been given. Through such initiatives embedded in them should be the desire to bring back the fruits of education to the people that gave it to them.”

The Executive Mayor encouraged stakeholders, the schools, the teachers and partners to the campaign that such a campaign should be one adopted as an annual activity of the municipality and other community building structures.

A young pupil, Sibone Khatshana 8 year old and a grade 3 leaner from Upper Mthwaku Ngqamakwe, expressed himself thanking Mnquma Local Municipality for conducting such an event, saying "Satsho siyek’uhlekwa ngabanye abantwana besithi sinxiba impahla zamantombazana.  Siyabulela Tata u Mayor asizodlalangayo le uniform usinikeyona”.

Other learners similarly thanked the municipality for this initiative saying that they "will shine and go to school and study with confidence”.

Thanduxolo Sikhoyi an ex-prisoner who has just been released from jail after spending 13 years in prison, motivated scholars and grievingly pleaded with students to be grateful for the opportunities to study and to respect the platform of education. He said: ”Drinking and bad behavior led me to jail. I was accused of rape and convicted for something I never did, I advise you kids to stay in school and refrain from bad things like drugs and alcohol, learn to ask for things rather than stealing, focus on your studies whilst the government supports you, time spent in jail never returns’’.

Having regrettably learnt his lesson the hard way, Thanduxolo Sikhoyi said "Education is the most powerful weapon that can change the world for the better"