Undeniably a matric certificate in South Africa symbolises aspirations of posterity while it represents a gateway to the dignity of getting further training and education; attaining prosperity and the ability for each individual citizen to go out into the competitive, globalised world to carve a career/trade for themselves; ultimately so that they can forge a Better Life for themselves and become a productive, truly equal citizen. Albeit under admittedly somewhat shameful, strained and uncomfortable circumstances which we are certainly not proud of, the African National Congress Limpopo wishes all matric pupils well during these critical, final examinations.

In his recent October 19, 2012, address at the University of Fort Hare which was a lecture attributed to the honour of President Oliver Reginald Tambo; former President Thabo Mbeki, in trying to assist us to muster the art rising above our own weaknesses by learning to take ownership for our own errors against the communities we are meant to serve; admitted the broader failures of our ANC led government in broad strokes when he said: "In this context I am convinced that it would be treacherous to hide our heads in the sand and behave as though we remain on course in terms of the achievement of our shared and various national objectives".

Considering that education is one of the five priorities of the ANC`s current promises to the great South African nation for this term of governance; and in the context of widely reported lapses in education delivery, it would be an unforgivable betrayal of our own integrity to say that we are not once again eternally sorry for having placed some of the matric pupils in our province, who did not receive the necessary text books and study materials (on time), in a rather unfair and hard situation.

Without romanticising and desensitising communities to the very real daily struggles faced by the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our communities, we thank all affected pupils, are eternally grateful to school principals, teachers and others who have persevered through the year`s unnecessary textbook hurdles. However, with the altruistic sacrifices made by teachers, parents, including some NGOs who intervened and worked so hard to plug the gaps, we are confident and grateful for the resilient tenacity of young pupils in this province. It will spur on a victorious spirit that will conquer what may seem insurmountable.

The ANC`s love for young South Africans is a known fact because we have pioneered the recognition and protection of rights of children to education, shelter, healthy food and safety. We have ensured and nurtured the continued existence and voice of the ANC Youth League, fiercely protected children from abuse by putting in place several institutions; vigorously allowing, through our policies, the proliferation of NGO`s to establish early childhood development programmes and institutions. Granted, the recent failures in education have presented a contradiction to this track record and the promise made to fellow citizens who have placed their confidence firmly in our hands by repeatedly voting for us. Admittedly, we have also regrettably fallen behind with infrastructure and educator/learner resources in many disadvantaged schools especially in rural areas. This is a travesty and betrayal of our own ethos of a Better Life for All. For this we are also sorry. These are areas in which the ANC will improve to show our communities our commitment to their needs.

So it is only appropriate that now as we wish all our matric learners good luck, we also remind our budding young adults sitting for their final basic education examinations to emulate that lasting spirit of this revolutionary son of Africa, O.R. Tambo – to whom our democracy owes a lot.

Lastly, it is an abundantly appropriate gesture as well as a tragically beautiful and motivating coincidence - in the context of wishing our matric pupils well, that during this October month of celebrating sacrifices, contributions and lessons given to us with no strings attached, by President Oliver Reginald Tambo, that we cite again from former president Thabo Mbeki`s esteemed lecture:

Oliver Tambo developed into a renaissance intellectual, eminently competent in many fields, including mathematics, biology and chemistry, legal jurisprudence, history, pedagogy and theology, military science, sociology and revolutionary social transformation, communications, creative literature, music and the arts.

This unrivalled, undisputed legacy must encourage and re-ignite the true tradition, culture and selfless spirit of the ANC that has brought our country to its present highly-prized democratic state. It must force us to put our children first so that they may learn and grow progressively to continue the hard labour of creating a truly prosperous, non-racial, non-sexist, non-tribalistic and altruistic country that works towards building a better life for all; one where the equal education of children in all communities is an indiscriminate priority.

"Good luck to all matric pupils sitting during your examinations, do your best and make your country and province proud. The ANC places its hope in your capabilities to rise above all adversity to build a better future for all of us", said the Spokesperson of the ANC Limpopo, Makonde Mathivha.

Issued by: African National Congress Limpopo

Communications and Media Office

Contact: Provincial Spokesperson, Cde. Makonde Mathivha

Mobile: 083 457 2268

Enquiries: Mandisa Mashego

Cell: 083 856 8583