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Twenty students at the Tshwane University of Technology this week received bursaries totalling R635 000 from the Stud Game Breeders® (SGB®) organisation. The bursaries form part of a concerted drive by the SGB® to transform the South African wildlife industry and create more opportunities for young people in the country to enter this important industry. 

The bursaries will help to pay the tuition and accommodation for these academically deserving but financially needy students in GAME RANCH MANAGEMENT or NATURE CONSERVATION.  In 2016 the SGB® awarded bursaries to the value of R630 000 to sixteen students.
 
Cyril Ramaphosa, member of the SGB® and Deputy President of South Africa, who has been involved in the initiative since its inception in 2011, said in a message to the students who were selected to receive the bursaries: “Transformation is critical for the sustained success of the game breeding industry and nature conservation. Educational opportunities available to our youth to study game ranch management and nature conservation are essential and help to empower and prepare young people for these exiting fields. Due to the resounding success of students who have received the educational bursaries over the past 4 years, Stud Game Breeders® have once again committed to contribute bursaries to the amount of R635 000,00 this year.”

Administered by the SGB TRANSFORMATION FUND, the funds for the bursaries were raised by an extraordinary auction, where each member of the Stud Game Breeders® group contributed to the acquisition of a Golden Wildebeest Bull, which was put up for auction as the first lot of the group’s annual auction in September 2016. The proceeds of the auction are dedicated to the support of transformation in the industry. The final bid came from Mr Wiaan van der Linde, on behalf of "Extensive Game Breeders" a successful group of ranchers in the Northern Cape and Karoo area.
 
The auction is one of a series of initiatives the Stud Game Breeders® have introduced over the past five years to promote transformation. 

Stud Game Breeders® have annually provided Bursaries for deserving disadvantaged students at TUT: two in 2011/12, seven in 2014, fourteen in 2015, sixteen in 2016 and now twenty in 2017.
                     
The SGB Transformation Fund has been instrumental in making funding available to the Stud Game Breeders®. In an effort to boost the SGB Transformation Fund, eight Nyala ewes in lamb to 32"+ bulls (the best of the best), will be auctioned in September this year and the proceeds donated to the Transformation Fund.

Jacques Malan, one of the founding members of the SGB, emphasised the importance of making use of opportunities in life to students. “Life is full of opportunities, the choice is yours to either use them or let them pass. The fact that you have been selected to receive a bursary indicates that you are worthy of it. We would like to see each one of you become a winner, therefore use this opportunity well.”

Malan continued to explain, that although the SGB comprises of game ranchers, there is a very close connection between game ranching and nature conservation, which gave rise to the decision to award bursaries to students in Nature Conservation too. “Educational support to young people is critical to the long-term success and sustainability of game ranching in the country.”

In addition to receiving the bursaries, these students are also given an opportunity to work on the ranches of the SGB members and gain valuable skills and knowledge of the industry.
  
The students who received bursaries are: Katlego Coza, John Makhura, Naledi Modise, Claire Malan, Sinazo Mbatha, Wihan Botha, Sandile Mgaga, Ntshuxeko Mabasa, Boitumelo Mogosetsi, Kamogelo Vuma, Pretty Mahlangu, Magatikele Makgoga, Muyimeri Mathebula, Shaskia John, Armstrong Maluleke, Silindile Thabede, Sandile, Mkhonto, Doctor Nkabinde, Innocentia Netshivhumbe and Kopano Makaleng.

The members of Stud Game Breeders® are:

    • Johan & Nadien Bosch of Dinaka
    • Jacques & Carolien Malan of Lumarie
    • Norman Adami of Nyumbu
    • Cyril & Tshepo Ramaphosa of Phala Phala
    • Edwin & Heleen Claassen of Shelanti
    • Tony & Richard Morton of Tembani

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology please contact Willa de Ruyter on tel: 021 382 5352 or send an email to deruyterw@tut.ac.za.