Polokwane Municipality presented 52 new bursaries to students for the full term of their tertiary studies at a ceremony in the council chamber in the city last Thursday. This is in addition to current bursary holders which received financial assistance for previous years and are still studying and the total expenditure for this project for the current financial year amounts to R2,2 million.
Polokwane Executive Mayor, Thembi Nkadimeng, congratulated the new bursary holders selected from 422 applicants. “The fund is annually augmented from income from the Mayoral Golf Cup Challenge and the Bulls rugby game as main contributors,” Nkadimeng explained.
“With the Executive Mayor’s Bursary Fund, we are taking a positive step towards empowerment of our children and to plant in them a seed to yearn for a more positive and brighter future. As a city we recognise the challenge that our communities face when the demand for skills can’t be met and unemployment persists because individuals don’t have the skills employers need. We have made a commitment to contribute towards closing this gap and help build a growing economy through required skills within our municipality. We have a mandate to ensure that this city continues to be the backbone of Limpopo,” Nkadimeng said.
According to Nkadimeng, the municipality acknowledges that education has the power to transform lives. “But poverty can make it difficult to access quality education. The Executive Mayor’s Bursary Fund initiative gives access to learning opportunities to those members of our communities who are finding it difficult to do so – those who have fallen on hard times to access tertiary education,” Nkadimeng added.
The 73 learners which were awarded bursaries in previous years, achieved between 80% and 100% and 11 bursary holders have completed their studies while five received other sponsorships from private institutions.
Nkadimeng thanked Standard Bank for its generous contribution as well as the University of Limpopo (UL) as an external partner providing assistance with the selection of bursary holders.
She concluded with a quote from an unnamed source says: “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits are the sweetest”.
Story and photos: BARRY VILJOEN