Thembi Siweya wants more Grade 11 pupils to own cellphones

She says the cellphones can assist the kids to communicate with others of their age across the world.


Deputy minister in the Presidency Thembi Siweya is not one of those who believe pupils should begin owning cellphones once they are in matric or have finished their Grade 12.

She wants ownership of cellphones to begin at secondary school levels to encourage the kids to have access to the broader communication system and “be patriotic South Africans”.

She addressed Grade11 and 12 learners at the Bongisimbi Comprehensive School in the eMalahleni township of Ackerville on Saturday midday. 

Her department said the deputy minister had been at the school to have a little chat with the pupils to “emphasize the importance of active citizenship with a focus on how young people can support their communities”.

Thembi Siweya wants more Grade 11 pupils to own cellphones

“The conversation on PlayYourPart.co.za seeks to identify innovative solutions and opportunities, big or small, for the community,” the department said. 

Siwela on Saturday urged the kids to not use their cellphones for wrong reasons, like sharing nudes or porn, in contravention of the laws governing video broadcasts. 

“You must use your phone to google things that will get you to pass, like googling information and getting knowledge and communicating with others across the world,” said Siwela while on stage at the Ackerville high school. 

“You will find that one-day you are having a boyfriend or girlfriend and when you break up he or she distributes wrong pictures or videos and that’s not what you should use your phone for,” said the deputy minister. 

She asked the school principal to arrange officials from the Film Board to come teach the kids about how “circulating nudes is a punishable crime”.

She said cellphones will assist the kids because “when the world advances you are able to talk with a young person from Kenya, Ghana and so on,” she said. 

Also eMalahleni mayor Linah Malatjie attended the event as did the Youth Economic Alliance. The event is part of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part outreach programme, and was themed “Turn Your Ideas into Currencies”.

The Youth Economic Alliance is a non-profit company that was established to drive the development and advancement of youth entrepreneurship.

(edited by MLM) 

Send tip-offs to [email protected]