25 October 2013
The South African Rugby Union’s (Saru’s) “Boks for Books” literacy campaign opened its second library at Kwamanzini Primary School in Pinetown outside Durban on Thursday, following the first library launch at Gcobani Higher Primary School in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape in August.
Boks for Books, Saru’s first venture into corporate social investment, supplies fully stocked mobile or refurbished libraries to previously disadvantaged schools. Saru has teamed up with non-governmental organisation Blue Groove Africa on the campaign.
South Africa public schools are desperately short of functional libraries. In 2011, the World Economic Forum ranked South Africa 140th out of 144 nations based on national educational assessments.
Impact ‘beyond the school’
On Thursday, the first school to benefit in KwaZulu-Natal, the Kwamanzini Primary School, celebrated the opening of their mobile library, with Saru president Oregan Hoskins, Springbok eighthman Pierre Spies in attendance.
Hoskins said he hoped the library would have a lasting impact not only on the schools but also in the surrounding community.
“Literacy is essential for the acquiring of skills and knowledge, and those who can read are usually in a position to make a very meaningful contribution to the social, welfare and community affairs of their respective communities,” he said.
‘A vital skill’
Spies shared his reading experience with the excited learners and encouraged them to make use of the library.
“Reading is a vital skill and I know that many learners unfortunately don’t have access to basic library facilities,” he said. “I am therefore very glad that Saru are assisting in the effort to make these facilities more accessible in some of the remote parts of the country.”
Kwamanzini Primary School is situated in the KwaNdengezi District in Pinetown and serve pupils in eight grades. The school’s acting headmistress, Bongekile Mbatha said the library would also open its doors to the nearby Amanganga, Nkosenye, Bhongo, Botate and Umthende Primary Schools.
“The library will improve reading skills and hopefully create life-long readers among the learners, who will no doubt become intellectually enriched,” she said.
The next library handover, in partnership with South African rugby sponsor Absa Bank, will take place in Gauteng in November.
South Africans can assist the Boks for Books campaign by purchasing the Springbok Literacy Bracelet, which is available at leading news agents across the country or directly from Blue Groove Africa (www.bluegrooveafrica.com).
SAinfo reporter and SA Rugby