In 2016, ABSA also pledged R6.6 million towards the Fund to assist in alleviating the dire need for student funding at the University. Their latest donation makes ABSA the single biggest supporter of the Fund, which has now reached the R14 million mark.
It is expected that money from the Fund will be allocated to the first group of academically deserving, financially needy beneficiaries later this year.
In her word of thanks, one of the Patrons of the Fund, TUT Chancellor and MEC of Health in Gauteng, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, who set the challenge of reaching the R50 million mark before end of 2019, lauded ABSA for their staunch support of the Fund.
Prof Lourens van Staden, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, said TUT has accepted the Chancellor’s challenge, because as a people’s university, TUT is an institution that provides opportunities for all students who are academically deserving – regardless of their financial situation. He added that the majority of students at TUT, about 90 per cent of the 60 000 students, are dependent on financial assistance to help them make their dreams of tertiary study a reality.
Prof van Staden emphasised the importance of financial support by business and industry. “We cannot rely on funding provided by Government only for financial support. The TUT Bursary and Scholarship Fund offers an opportunity to assist an even greater number of students to obtain qualifications and embark on a journey to improve their own lives as well as those of their families and members of the communities they hail from. We would not be able to do this without the generous support of partners.”
Dr Ramokgopa added that “ABSA is inspiring us to remain committed to our undertaking to see this Fund becoming a significant vehicle to assist our students now and for years to come. Your contributions are in line with the national cry for additional financial support for needy students across all sectors of our higher education landscape. I can assure you that your contributions will make a tangible difference in the lives of our students.”
Other dignitaries present included ABSA’s Vice-Chairperson, Mr Theunie Lategan; Ms Sazini Mojapelo, ABSA’s Head Citizenship Africa; and Mr Stephen Seaka, ABSA’s Head Public Sector Africa.
Ms Mojapelo said that in the last couple of years ABSA had relooked its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) strategy and that the CEO Scholarship Fund is a result of how the bank decided to contribute more meaningfully to the communities in which it operates, particularly in the field of education.” The bank is now the largest contributor to scholarship programmes at South African universities.
ABSA recently announced an almost three-fold increase in the Barclays Africa Group’s 2017 CEO Scholarship Fund to R210 million. This will result in 3 000 university students across its ten African markets receiving a scholarship for the current academic year. In 2016, this Fund disbursed R80 million in scholarships to 2 000 students at universities across South Africa.
The 2017 allocation is in partnership with 21 universities in SA and several others in nine markets on the rest of the continent.
Musical Theatre students performing excerpts of King inna de Junge, a musical that
will be staged at the Breytenbach Theatre in June, at yesterday’s event. The musical
is the first of its kind and loosely based on the life of Carlos Djedje, who is considered
the pioneer of reggae in Africa.
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