“When I grow up, I want to become a police officer so that I can arrest criminals who are stealing oranges in the farms.” These are the brilliant words from Memory Ndou, e learner at Schuitdrift Farm School, when she responded to Mayor Mihloti Muhlope’s question on what she wants to be when she grows up. The mayor visited the farm school, which is situated outside Musina, to encourage learners to take education seriously from the beginning of the academic year.

Mayor Mihloti Muhlope addressing learners at Schuitdrift Farm School.

Muhlope told Memory Ndou that the fact that she resides in the farming areas does not have an impact on her future. “Your future plans and development do not have anything to do with where you come from. Yes, we understand that you come from the farming areas where resources are very limited. But your positive attitude and zeal to succeed will play a meaningful role towards the realization of your future dreams.”

She said it is important to support local schools because that is where future leaders are developed. “Government is doing its best to make sure that our children’s education is accessed with ease. The state is providing books, food and transport to learners so that they can learn with ease. There is no child who can give an excuse that he or she cannot go to school because of poverty. We can all agree that South Africa is now better than it was in 1994.”

School principal, Samson Nekhubvi said the mayor’s visit will ignite his staff to start the year on a higher note. “This clearly demonstrates that our municipality is serious about the education of our children. We have seen the mayor coming here several times and we are encouraged by her presence. With her intervention, we have resolved so many challenges in this school and we will continue to work with her to develop this farm school.”