"I am a patron of the [Aggrey Klaaste] awards. I am a patron of the awards because I held the late Aggrey Klaaste in great respect as a person and as a leader.
We do not have ancient mathematical geniuses such as Pythagoras, Ramanujam or Aryabhatta to revere and to inspire us, and so we have to create new traditions around contemporary geniuses.
Not of course that Aggrey Klaaste was a mathematical genius, but he was a genius in another field. He was a genius in nation building.
His initiative in nation building, started well before 1994, set an example to all of us of how to work together for social justice and for the benefit of all.
One of the ways in which he did this was to single out and reward those people who rose above their circumstances in search of excellence.
I am also a patron of the awards because I believe our maths, science and technology teachers need special recognition and support.
Tonight, as has been done over the past eight years, we recognise teachers who have inspired their pupils in maths, science and technology.
Maths, science, and technology are now more important than they have been at any time in recorded history.
Their importance is recognised in the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgisa).
We need maths, science and technology skills to reach our growth targets. We have a considerable amount of catching up to do to compete globally."-
Education Minister Naledi Pandor at last year's Aggrey Klaaste Maths, Science and Technology Educator of the Year Award gala in Johannesburg. Pandor is the awards' patron.