Port Alfred teacher and her pupils on parliamentary visit

KUYASA Combined School was one of the lucky schools to be invited by Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Nkoana-Mashabana for the policy and budget speech which took place in parliament in Cape Town last Friday.

PARLIAMENT IDENTITY CARD: Eagerly representing their school at a policy and budget speech in parliament at Cape Town last Friday were Kuyasa Combined School pupils, Masimbonge Viti, left, and Simamkele Sambu, right, with teacher Nobulali Dinge Picture: TK MTIKI

Teacher Nobulali Dinge and two pupils, Simamkele Sambu and Masimbonge Viti represented Kuyasa at parliament. The trio left Port Alfred on Thursday afternoon and headed to Port Elizabeth airport where their flight took off.

Talking to Dinge before the departure, she said she thrilled by minister’s invitation but more importantly she indicated her expectations of the policy and budget speech. One of her expectations was the relevance of the policy and budget to the rural schools.

Sambu’s expectations for the speech supported this. “I am expecting the minister to explain as to why the budget for 2018 education was reduced. I do not know whether I am being biased because my mom is a teacher,” said Sambu.

After their return, they said being in national parliament in the presence of national politicians was an incredible experience. “Yho! Being there sitting upstairs and looking at those politicians from a vertical position was wow,” said Dinge.

Although she was excited by the journey, she did not forget the purpose of the trip. “The speech was good and welcomed by opposition parties. There were no points of orders after the other” said Dinge.

“The main focus of the speech was on land expropriation and what should be done when land is expropriated”.  Dinge revealed that graveyards were mentioned as one of the things which might be considered for land use.

She also said the speech was critiqued and counteracted. She said the Democratic Alliance is of the view that people do not necessarily want land but money. The Economic Freedom Fighters brought landless people from Gwatyu in the Eastern Cape in an attempt to justify the need for expropriation without compensation.

Sambu and Viti indicated they learned a lot from what the minister’s advisor, “General” Fumanekile Gqiba said.

In an interview with Sambu, Gqiba said the rural youth programme is looking for youth from 18-25 years of age from rural areas in all nine provinces. According to Gqiba these candidates participate in character building, like in the military.

They are sent to the Free State for a medical check-up, and even if they are declared unfit they proceed to the next stage, but they do not do shooting. They are sent to serve in communities for three months and then finally assisted to be entrepreneurs in their preferred fields.

Sambu and Viti said this could be relevant to them.

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