The IFP strongly dismisses the accusations
that, in the past, it neglected education in rural
KwaZulu-Natal. The accusations have been leveled against the
party by the ANC in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Parliament.
“The IFP’s record on education in
KwaZulu-Natal is nothing short of impressive,” said Dr Lionel
Mtshali MPP who leads the IFP caucus in that Parliament and who
served as Minister of Education between 1990 and 1994. “Education
has always been one of our top priorities.”
The erstwhile KwaZulu government itself
invested millions of rands into rural schools, despite the low
per capita allocation of funding towards black education by the
National Party government.
In addition, the former KwaZulu government
went out of its way to secure extensive funding for the
construction and running of schools by donors and sponsors. “Those
schools are still there for everyone to see,” said Dr Mtshali.
The schools were built strictly according
to the need of a particular community on the pillars of
self-help and self-reliance. “The communities had to raise
money themselves in order to claim reimbursement by the
government on a rand-for-rand basis,” said Dr Mtshali.
Similarly, the erstwhile KwaZulu
government secured loans from the Development Bank of Southern
Africa to build James Nxumalo Agricultural High School, Umlazi
ComTech, Ezakheni College of Education, to name a few examples.
The former KwaZulu government also secured
the support and funding from the Eshowe Christian Action Group,
a project led by Prince Gideon Zulu, as well as the Siyazisiza
Trust, an initiative by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and the
Some of the most generous contributors
towards schools from the business community were Toyota and
Richards Bay Minerals. Their respective legacies are Ogwini
Comprehensive School, KwaMakhutha High School and Sibusisiwe
High School; and Tisand Comprehensive High School and College.
In addition, the erstwhile KwaZulu
government upgraded a number of Colleges of Education to the
status of tertiary institutions. “Massive sums were poured
into their lecture theatres and accommodation facilities. These
were real achievements,” said Dr Mtshali.
The former KwaZulu government proudly
prioritized technical education. “It is a pity that many of
its flagship Colleges of Education survived only to become white
elephants under the administration of the current Department of
Education,” said Dr Mtshali.
Contact: Dr Lionel Mtshali, 083 256 4902