Education vital to move SA forward: Minister

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pretoria – Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe, says education is the single most important element that can take South Africa forward.

“It is through education that the poor can transform into becoming significant players in the country’s economy. Quality education will produce skilled professionals, innovators and contributors to economic development,” the Minister said on Thursday morning.

He was speaking at the launch of the Sustainable Knowledge Development Hub as part of the fourth International Conference on Responsible Leadership currently underway in Johannesburg.

“Since the dawn of freedom and democracy in 1994, government prioritised education as a means to transform the lives of young South Africans for a brighter and more prosperous future.

“However, we are confronted by the grim reality that many of our higher education institutions, especially the universities, are unaffordable for many students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds and middle income families,” Minister Radebe said.

Minister Radebe said when one young person gets a breakthrough in the job market, they break the vicious cycle that has kept their families in the dungeons of poverty for generations.  

“A single person’s breakthrough is a relief to the entire family. When we change the living conditions of one person, one family at a time, we are changing the living conditions of communities,” he said.

The Responsible Leadership conference is a collaborative affair between the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership at the University of Pretoria, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, the Leadership Collaborator in the Public Private Platform at the Copenhagen Business School and the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative.

Expert panellists from Copenhagen Business School and Harvard Business School are in attendance, alongside South African leaders from business, government and civil society.

The Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership is named after a distinguished South African leader whose vision was instrumental in bringing freedom and democracy in South Africa.

The centre aims to develop a new generation of responsible leaders, shaping local and international business practices and policies in support of social and environmental justice. – SAnews.gov.za

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