President Zuma opens renovated Huis Beyers Naudé

AUGUST 1, 2014
President Jacob Zuma is accompanied by former Camdeboo Local Municipality Mayor and a leader of the Khoi-San nation, Dr Daantjie Japhta after officially opening the renovated Huis Beyers Naude, in Graaff-Reinet, on the 10th of April.

On the 10th of April, President Jacob Zuma visited Graaff-Reinet, in the Camdeboo Local Municipality, where he unveiled the recently renovated Huis Beyers Naudé. The new building, situated at the old Beyers Naudé residence, now serves as the Graaff-Reinet offices of the Eastern Cape Department of Education.

Having suffered delays and setbacks since 2007, when the refurbishment project was launched, Huis Beyers Naudé was completed on the 31st of March at a cost of just over R67, 5 million. The work done included constructing a new main entrance, reception and foyer; 142 offices; four boardrooms; a library; post office; sick room; general stores; 74 onsite and 42 offsite parking bays; as well as ensuring easy access to the building for the disabled.

“This facility is key to the vision of education. The centre was built so that people can benefit from it. This is how we will also remember Beyers Naudé,” said President Zuma, during the unveiling ceremony.

Born Christiaan Frederick Beyers Naudé in May 1915, Naudé was a cleric, theologian and a leading Afrikaner anti-apartheid activist. Together with his family he moved to Graaff-Reinet in 1921 from Johannesburg.

“Beyers Naudé spent the best years of his life in that house and was very important in the fight against apartheid,” President Zuma later told ANC supporters who turned up for the party’s rally at Umasizakhe Soccer Stadium.

The unveiling and subsequent rally was attended by Public Works Minister, Thulas Nxesi; Eastern Cape Premier, Noxolo Kiviet; Eastern Cape MEC for Transport, Roads and Public Works, Thandiswa Marawu; Eastern Cape MEC for Education, Mandla Makupula; Cacadu District Municipality Executive Mayor, Khunjuzwa Eunice Kekana; Cacadu District Municipality Speaker, Deon de Vos; Camdeboo Local Municipality Mayor, Hannah Makoba, among other dignitaries and residents.

During his visit, President Zuma also took time to meet with representatives of the newly-constituted Cacadu Business Development Forum (CBDF) as well as those from the Graaff-Reinet Chamber of Commerce.

The CBDF’s Chairperson, Lungile Mxube, who is also the Makana United Business Chamber (MUBC ) Chairperson, told the President that government alone could not tackle poverty and unemployment without the involvement of the business fraternity and thus emphasized the need for dialogue between these two sectors.

President Zuma promised that he would return to the District after the elections.