Home » Embracing the spirit of Mandela through education

Embracing the spirit of Mandela through education

by Tia

Mandela month provides an opportunity to reflect on the values and legacy of Nelson Mandela, particularly his commitment to education and social justice. At the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), we recognise the importance of education in empowering the youth and fostering sustainable development. Our efforts are focused on closing infrastructure gaps, including enhancing basic education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and university infrastructure. This commitment aligns with the aspirations of Mandela Day, underscoring the role of education in building a more inclusive and prosperous society.

High-quality education infrastructure is essential for effective teaching, improved student outcomes, reduced dropout rates, and increased teacher motivation. However, evidence from South Africa reveals that many schools fall short of these basic requirements, particularly in disadvantaged communities. According to a joint study by the World Bank and the DBSA, titled “Going Beyond the Infrastructure Funding Gap – A South African Perspective,” many schools did not meet the minimum norms and standards for public school infrastructure published in 2013 by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) as of 2021.

“Socio-economic challenges continue to significantly affect South African schools. Education is essential for driving economic activity, enhancing healthcare, and reducing unemployment and poverty. It is vital for private and public investors to understand the critical role of education development in overcoming these challenges,” said Zeph Nhleko, Chief Economist at DBSA. Basic education lays the foundation for lifelong learning, while tertiary education equips young South Africans with the skills needed for the labour market. Therefore, the DBSA is committed to facilitating and maximising infrastructure rollout, especially in marginalised communities where resources are limited and needed the most.

The DBSA focuses on developing and financing infrastructure projects that are crucial for South Africa’s economic growth, including those in the social sector of education. Our aim is to support the South African government in financing and accelerating the implementation of education infrastructure programmes. These projects include the Student Housing Infrastructure Programme (SHIP), the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) Programme, and the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) Programme.

Our alignment with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlights our commitment to sustainable development. By investing in education and infrastructure, the Bank addresses immediate community needs and lays the foundation for long-term growth. As the world works towards meeting the SDGs by 2030, the DBSA exemplifies the critical role of financial institutions in driving sustainable progress and ensuring a better future for all.

“As one of the key Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) in Southern Africa, the DBSA plays an important role in addressing the infrastructure needs of the education sector. To meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, an investment of approximately R2.7 billion is required from 2022 to 2030 to bridge the infrastructure development gap in basic education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET),” added Zeph.

The DBSA’s strategic investments in education infrastructure, supported by public-private partnerships, are crucial for South Africa to achieve the SDGs by 2030. By addressing critical gaps in educational facilities and resources, the DBSA not only enhances the quality of education but also empowers the youth with the skills needed for sustainable economic growth. This comprehensive approach highlights the Bank’s role in driving sustainable development and ensuring a prosperous future for all South Africans.

As a developing country, South Africa faces challenges in education, with many urban and rural areas still struggling with inadequate infrastructure. By prioritising youth education and skills development, South Africa invests in its future workforce and fosters a more inclusive and prosperous society. Enhancing educational opportunities and infrastructure helps bridge social and economic disparities, creating a more equitable nation. Mandela month serves as a reminder of the critical role that investing in youth plays in securing a brighter future for South Africa.

Related Articles

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!