PROMINENT businessman, Bothata Mahlala, has donated a newly constructed classroom block to Maqokho Primary School in Mt Moorosi, Quthing district.
The building cost about M200 000 to construct.
Speaking at the handover ceremony this week, Mr Mahlala said he was touched by the plight of the pupils after discovering that they were learning in a dilapidated classroom.
Mr Mahlala, whose business interests range from real estate to agriculture, said the hardships he endured while growing up had made him sensitive to the plight of others hence the donation of the classroom block.
“I was also born and grew up here in Mt Moorosi,” Mr Mahlala said.
“My upbringing wasn’t easy either, at one point I didn’t have a proper pair of shoes and resorted to using cardboard just to create something I could walk in. I couldn’t afford to go on school trips and teachers used to mock me. It is indeed God’s grace that a person who comes from such a background is now able to donate a classroom.
“What made me and my wife decide to on this donation is our desire to make a difference in our children’s lives. I was touched when I heard of the conditions that these children had to learn under. The thought that the children had to learn in a classroom flooded with water was harrowing. I thank God for the ability to assist,” Mr Mahlala said.
He also pledged to donate 200 pairs of school shoes next week.
Deputy Minister of Education & Training, ‘Maletsema Letsoepa-Lenkoane, thanked the Mahlala family for their donation.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Education & Training, we are indeed gratified by what Mr Mahlala has done by extending a helping hand, and assisting our ministry in mitigating in the dire circumstances that some of our leaners find themselves in. He has displayed empathy and heeded the call by Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu for all us to work together to ensure that there are proper facilities at our schools.
“We really don’t have the right words to thank Mr Mahlala for what he has done. We are extremely proud of him,” Ms Letsoepa-Lenkoane said.
Former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) programmes’ director, Pulapula Mothibi, attended the event as a guest of the Mahlalas. He praised the businessman for his gesture.
The school’s principal, Pulane Maune, expressed his joy and gratitude to the Mahlala family for the donation.
One of the teachers, Mabusetsa Leteka, also thanked the Mahlala family for the donation.