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STATEMENT BY THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER

 

AT MTN’s 21 DAYS OF Y’ELLO CARE – HANDOVER OF ENDLALENI PRIMARY SCHOOL PROJECTTHE

 

AT ENDLALENI PRIMARY SCHOOL

 

MONDAY 10 JULY 2017

 

Honourable Ministers

Chief Executive Officer of MTN Swaziland

Her Excellency United States Ambassador, Ms Lisa Peterson

Corporate Partners

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

 

It is my honour, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to welcome you all to Endlaleni Primary School today and to celebrate both the completion of the school reconstruction project and a successful 21 Days of Y’ello Care.

 

An activity, that has emerged strongly across the world in recent times, is the public:private partnership, generally known as the PPP. It has become a popular means of financing public services across the world. There is no set configuration for a PPP though, in a conventional context, it involves a contract between a public sector authority and a private organization. The latter provides a public service or project – or both – and assumes financial, technical and operational risk in the project, and secures its financial return from the partner or the user. The private sector entity obtains a rate of return.

Corporate social investment, which I am pleased to say is gaining in momentum in our country, is in reality a form of PPP. The main difference is that, with the more common form of PPP, the private sector obtains its reward in the form of a financial rate of return. With corporate social investment the reward to the donor is in another form. That is the moral satisfaction of having helped those in a less fortunate position in life, and the social approval, or imprimatur as it is often called, gained from being seen to care about, and contribute to the well-being of others.

MTN’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care is one such corporate social investment and its own form of PPP. In taking its staff, financial resources and partner companies out into our country to make a tangible difference – at no charge to the beneficiaries – is a highly commendable initiative. MTN itself raised its financial allocation from E1.7 million last year to E3.5 million in the current year. Education is the area in focus, and this year’s theme, that occupied the 21 Days of Y’ello Care, was “Share Knowledge.” A noble theme indeed, helping our children and assisting Government in a crucially important area for which sufficient public resources are not available.

The main focus of today’s event and, indeed, the main beneficiary in financial terms is the Endlaleni Primary School. The school, previously no longer in a fit state to educate the local children, has been completely re-built. The seven new classrooms, built by Micro-Projects and funded largely by Government, MTN and Swaziland Empowerment Limited, will have a truly dramatic impact on this community. Its children will now be able to go to a primary school and live at home at the same time – a state of affairs that had no longer prevailed once the school was closed down. If the lady, Make Ndlaleni Bhembe, who established the school 70 years ago, were with us at this ceremony, she would be immensely proud to see the school comprehensively upgraded and continuing for the benefit of the children of the community.

The 21 Days of Y’ello Care did not stop there. Together with the many corporate partners, principally Macmillan Swaziland and the United States Embassy, the rehabilitation of the boys’ hostel at the School for the Deaf in Siteki was carried out. This was an extensive refurbishment programme, upgrading all the important facilities in the hostel and a highly appropriate destination for the resources allocated by the donor companies. Macmillan Swaziland provided the installation of a digital white board for the deaf, as well as many other contributions to the programme.

On behalf of His Majesty’s Government, I wish to express our congratulations and gratitude to MTN and all the other sponsors who took part in the 21 Days of Y’ello Care. I add further appreciation to the United States Embassy for contributing the eGranary Digital Library to the School for the Deaf and KalaMdladla High School. This offline internet resource provides instant access to many millions of digital educational resources. Similarly, our thanks go to Tibiyo TakaNgwane for contributing a total of 30 scholarships amounting to E500,000, equally to KalaMdladla, Mazombizwe and Nyatsini High Schools.

Many other corporate sponsors have contributed time and resources to the 21 Days of Y’ello Care, and for that we are very grateful. Corporate social investment is alive in our country and I take the opportunity to encourage even more such investment by our private sector to meet the needs of the disadvantaged in the Kingdom. I believe that existing corporate social investors are aware that what goes around, comes around, as the saying goes. In other words, what we invest in the disadvantaged of our country will invariably produce a benefit that ultimately the rest of the population will enjoy in one form or another.

It remains for me, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to thank everyone involved in 21 Days of Y’ello Care and say that we all look forward to a future of sustained growth in corporate social investment across the country.

Thank you.

 

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