A number of schools and several churches received monetary donations to the value of R8.5 million from the Motsepe Foundation on Tuesday.
The donations were announced at the Regina Mundi Church in Soweto.
“I want to thank the foundation on behalf of everyone that is here, those who have given must be proud that we have developed our schools and our churches,” said Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
Lesufi said the children benefitting should be the last generation to rely on social grants because of the initiatives that have been made towards their education.
“We want our children to perform well so they can compete with the best in the world,” the MEC said.
School principals, educators, learners, church leaders and church goers attended the hand over of the donations from the foundation. Each school received R150,000.
The Chairman of the Motsepe Foundation, Patrice Motsepe said: “Many of our people have no jobs and go to bed without food, many of our children perform well but have no money for University, all of us must try because the government alone can not fix all those challenges”.
“We must try help with the little that we may have to make a difference. There have been discussions with each of the schools and churches to find out how we [Motsepe Foundation] can help.”
Motsepe said he felt obliged to give back to the community because it played a part in his up-bringing.
“Our boys and girls are our future and education is the future. When you study you will succeed. I think some of you will be better than me,” said the billionaire businessman and philanthropist.
Schools that will be benefiting from the donations include Letsibogo Girls High School for the revamping of their Physical Science and Life Science Laboratory, Thobeka Primary School which will be extending the ablution block facility, mini soccer ground, library shelves and books as well as Orlando West High School for the refurbishment of the Computer Centre and the library.
The Motsepe Foundation chairman’s wife, Dr Precious Motsepe, said: “We have 2,000 students who have benefited from the Motsepe Foundation study bursaries..1000 of them are from Soweto … we are thankful that we are bringing it back home”.
The donation is aimed, among other things, improving ICT and infrastructure at schools.
A number of churches including the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, the Zion Christian Church and the St Ansgars Lutheran Church were also recipients of cash donations from the Motsepe Foundation.
In total, 37 beneficiaries benefited from the donations.