Race for a better life

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pretoria - Running the Comrades apparently has more spin-offs than health benefits, and two KwaZulu-Natal schools will get to enjoy these - thanks to Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.

When he entered the 2011 Comrades Marathon in May, Dhlomo identified three projects he wanted to raise funds for. To honour his promise, on Friday he will hand over the proceeds emanating from the race.

Dhlomo is expected to hand over a science lab to Sekusile High School and tracksuits to Khulakahle Primary School, both in Newcastle.

A businessman in Newcastle, Dr Mduduzi Gama, dared Dhlomo to complete the race and he would donate a science lab to Sekusile. Since Dhlomo lived up to the dare and completed the race in 12 hours 31 minutes, Gama has also lived up to his end of the deal.

Sekusile was identified by the Education Department in their Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign, after the school's matric pass rate dropped from 90% in 2005 to 75% in 2006 and further to 54% in 2010.

Dhlomo will also give 210 tracksuits to Khulakahle Primary for Grade 1 learners to ensure that they have something warm to wear during the chilly winter. Khulakahle is a stone's throw away from Sekusile High.

The money for the tracksuits was diverted from the funds that would have been spent organising a big function for the lab hand-over.

Dhlomo noted that by sacrificing one meal, they have provided warm clothing to all Grade 1 learners at the neighbouring primary school.

"Such a gesture should serve as a reminder to all learners that as they receive these gracious gifts, they must also be prepared to give to others now and in the future ... this is the new breed of citizens that this beautiful country of ours needs," Dhlomo said.

The three projects identified by Dhlomo include the re-establishment of the KwaZulu-Natal Children's Hospital in the Durban beach front area; the Phumanathi Athletics Club, which will be promoting healthy lifestyles in communities and Sibusisiwe Comprehensive Technical High School in uMbumbulu, where he wished to raise funds for an Audio Visual & Arts Centre and/or a science lab.

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