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As part of the centenary celebrations of the births of liberation icons Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, and in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “Thuma Mina” call for South Africans to lend a hand in helping the needy, Parliament today donated information and communications technology (ICT) equipment to three organisations that care for abused women and children in the Western Cape.

Officially handing over the computers and printers, Mr Cedric Frolick, the House Chairperson for Committees and ICT in the National Assembly, said the donation was Parliament’s commitment to helping the needy and living the legacy of Tata Mandela and Mama Sisulu, who fought tirelessly against poverty and marginalisation.

Referring to the slogan “Thuma Mina” that was used by President Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) early this year when he encouraged South Africans to help the needy and the vulnerable, Mr Frolick said he hoped the donation will make a difference and help the organisations in running their daily affairs.

He said this was a hand up in what the organisations were already doing in contributing to the “Thuma Mina” campaign, which means “send me”.

“This is a contribution from Parliament to those people who are needy, I hope all of you could take care of this equipment so that you can use it to the maximum to better the lives of the people you are taking care of,” said Mr Frolick.

Dr Thuli Twalo-Ganyaza, a Unit Manager in the Committees Section, said today’s handover illustrates Parliament’s commitment towards serving humanity and “ensuring that we remain an activist and responsive people’s Parliament that improves the quality of life of South Africans and ensures equality in our society”.

“As a developing nation, if you want to catch up with development, you have to catch up in education first as we approach the 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Dr Twalo-Ganyaza.

She also referred to one of Mandela’s famous quotes that says: “Education is the most powerful weapon one can use to change the world.”   

“It is thus befitting that this handover takes place as our nation and Parliament celebrate the centenary of the births of the two remarkable leaders, Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu,” said Dr Twalo-Ganyaza.

She also quoted the late former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan’s words: “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.”

Parliament is truly hopeful that through this donation of ICT equipment, lives will be changed and knowledge provided to our people at the centres.

Parliament donated 10 monitors, 10 keyboards, 10 PCs (personal computers) and one printer to each organisation.

Ons Plek’s, St Anne’s Home and Saartjie Baartman representatives were very excited for receiving the ICT equipment.

Saartjie Baartman’s representatives said they have already developed a computer lab so this equipment will help them on their basic computer programme.

“As we are an organisation that saves children from living in the streets and give them a safe home, we will give the PCs to the children who are going to do their first year at tertiary level, so that they can be able to work from home,” said one of the representatives from Ons Plek.

A St Anne’s representative said they are very grateful for the support from Parliament, they will teach women in St Anne’s Home basic computer skills, how to apply for job opportunities and they (these women) will be able to prepare themselves for interviews.

Parliament’s ICT Section Manager, Mr Ravi Poliah, said: “We want all societies to be familiar with what is called information society. This is a complete package and I hope it will improve your organisations. As Parliament, we thank you for giving us this privilege to donate this ICT equipment to you.”

By Zizipho Klaas

2 October 2018