Modern, Growing, Successful Province

Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, at St Patrick’s CBC 122nd Birthday Dinner ERH Dining Room, St Patrick’s CBC

Programme Director
Executive Head, Mr Jacques Tredoux and staff
Head of Development Trust, Mr Barry Smith
The Board of Governors
Past pupils
Ladies and gentlemen

I feel extremely honoured to be afforded this opportunity to be part of this auspicious moment in the history of St Patrick’s CBC. A school rich in history, culture, heritage and tradition that has its roots firmly grounded in the rich history of Kimberley and broadly the Northern Cape. On behalf of the Provincial Government I want to congratulate you on your 122nd anniversary and to encourage you to continue to be a symbol of distinctive academic excellence for this generation and generations to come.

I think it would be important for me to share with you that as the NC government we are deeply saddened by the spate of violence directed at women and children in our country and province. As the provincial government we join the Nation in mourning the killings, rape and abuse of women that continue to take place in our country. These brutal attacks on women reflect our collective failure to adequately respond to the cries of the most vulnerable in society. Struggle against gender violence is a real struggle, not something to be joked about, to be politicized or trivialized. This scourge affects all race groups, classes, faith groups and has no respect for geography.


In our Government calendar, we term September as Heritage Month. As I have stated, the Northern Cape have a rich history, culture and heritage. I am of the view that this college is emblematic of that. Hence, the story of CBC Kimberley is a story of the Kimberley and broadly the Northern Cape as this College contributed and still contributes immensely to the development of brilliant minds that add significant value to our society.

As you are gathered here tonight you must be on an emotional rollercoaster and very nostalgic as you look back on your schooling days. There were concrete memories that were formed, lessons learned and a foundation laid that set you on a good footing to prepare yourself for adult life. Your presence here tonight is also evidence of your interest in the role that education has to play in the development of our society. I am reminded of a quote by our late former President Mr Nelson Mandela “The power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success. It can contribute to nation-building and reconciliation“. Today it is evident that education is indeed the great nation builder as envisaged then and I am sure that St Patrick’s also plays its part not only in educational development but also developing its learners to become greater citizens that will lead to a prosperous South Africa.
We are all in agreement that the function of a school is to transmit knowledge and skills but a school is also an important part of society. It is a beacon of hope, as it prepares and must expose learners to be successful in life. Schools are considered a second home for learners because it is at school where learners spend most of their day time and this is utilised in various aspects of learning, not only focussed on the academic part.

As educators you become attached to your learners, in essence you become family. This means that a school is a social institution which socialises the individual and provides them with experience in social control. Schools keep the moral power of the society secure and also maintain the social heritage of society. Considering all of these, schools must thus foster all-round development of learners physically, socially and mentally.

I don’t think the college would have had this 122nd anniversary celebration if achieving these goals was not the driving force behind its work. Besides the socio-economic challenges in the communities and the ever changing environment you still managed to remain committed and thrive in excellence. Our country and the Province in particular need partners such as you to achieve our desired goals of constructing a modern, growing and successful province.

In our quest to build a modern, growing and successful province, education is our apex programme. We have therefore committed ourselves to cut all the wastages and also elevate the fight against corruption to a level of lifeline. This will enable us to increase our investments in the education sector for improved outcomes. Our approach of ensuring adequate funding for public education by cutting wastages in the system and fighting corruption generates lots of enemies for us. Be rest assured that we firmly remain undeterred as we are driven by conviction.

By identifying education as one of our apex priorities, we want to ensure that our single most important investment should be in the education of our children.  With the youthful population that we have, we must prioritise education, skills training and development as a necessary intervention in building Modern, Growing and Successful province.

Whilst I have to congratulate the College on the excellent Grade 12 outcomes over the past years, I must mention that as the Provincial Government we are extremely concerned about Grade 12 outcomes in public schools. Having been the best performing province with regard to Grade 12 results at some point, we have consistently regressed and found ourselves in the bottom three provinces nationally. We can hardly afford such a regression when only 27, 1% of people over 20 years have matric and only 8, 8 % have post-school qualifications. We are currently working on a plan to improve the entire schooling system in the province to better our outcomes. To achieve this, will require us to confront the challenges and weaknesses in the system.

The College 120th anniversary slogan reads, “Where more than 120 years of history embrace the future”. This slogan is quite catchy, as the past matters as the present, the present matters as the future and the future does not exist without the past and the present. With what the College produces now, it constructs the future. Such construction of the future must therefore be complemented with the development of Kimberley and the Province. I therefore wish to appeal to you, as I have done in my other engagements with other sectors such as business, civil society, academia etc. to join hands with us in our struggle to build a modern, growing and successful province.

Key to this, is development and investment in the future leaders of our Province. Leaders in different fields such as academia, science, jurisprudence, IT, fourth industrial revolution etc.

In executing this difficult but exciting task I want to encourage you with the words of Heng Swee Keat, a Singaporean politician, who is currently Deputy Prime Minister “We must put values and character development at the core of our education system,” He went on to identify three types of values – personal values, moral values, and values of citizenship. I firmly believe that this is in line with the value system that you seek to inculcate in all your learners at this College, which are CARE, EXCELLENCE, FAITH, INTEGRITY and BELONGING.

Mr Treadoux, there are four-essentials that I seek to achieve in my daily work, which are closely related to these values, which are:

  • Serve the People,
  • Be a dreamer,
  • Be pragmatic, and
  • Keep integrity.

I therefore hope that these four essentials will help you and your team to further sharpen your posture and conceptualization of the role of this College in the community of Kimberley. Let’s serve our people unconditionally, let’s have ambitious dreams that scare us, let’s be practical in solving problems of our people and let’s serve as a force of example with our conduct.

I would like to thank the former and current teachers of the College for the pedagogical mastery that characterizes this College.

We wish the Board of Trustees, Executive Head, School Management Team, Educators, School Development Trust, current and past learners and the broad college community the best for your 122nd anniversary celebrations and be assured of our support towards your school.

I wish you a Happy 122nd anniversary!!!

I thank you

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