To boost hygiene in several South African schools amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chinese embassy recently donated R1 million, which was received by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga. The lump-sum went towards water tanks as well as 50 000 surgical masks and 400 thermometers.
The Charge d’affaires of the Chinese embassy, Li Nan, said part of the surgical mask’s donation was from former Chinese ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian who was reassigned to the position of President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC).
“Dear brothers and sisters, we still remember that, when China was at its most difficult time at the beginning of the year, President Ramaphosa, the South African government, the African National Congress, as well as private companies extended their valuable support to us in various forms and on many occasions. We appreciate it very much and will never forget this,” said Nan.
He said now that China had the pandemic under “effective control”, Beijing authorities were returning the goodwill of the South African people. “It is our turn to reciprocate the brotherhood and goodwill of South African brothers and sisters,” said Nan.
He said so far, the Chinese government, the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese enterprises, Chinese non-profit organisations such as Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation, and local Chinese communities in South Africa have donated millions of rand and tens of thousands of personal protective equipment (PPE) like face masks, protective clothes, and testing kits to South Africa.
According to the department of basic education, the donation would benefit almost 3,000 learners at seven schools within the Pixley ka Semme District Municipality in the drought-prone Northern Cape with uninterrupted water supply. Receiving the donation, accompanied by senior education officials from the Northern Cape provincial education department, the Minister conveyed a heartfelt appreciation.
“Like other countries across the world, we have faced significant challenges when we started reopening schools. That is why we are very grateful for the tanks. We are also fighting a big battle around sanitation to make sure that learners have safe facilities in terms of both washing their hands, but also safe sanitation, which is one of our biggest challenges,” said Motshekga said.