Willowton Group gives UKZN students financial relief

2017-04-05 06:04
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile Seven students (from left) Mthokozisi Madondo, Sindiswa Magwaza, Babuse Mthethwa, Yonelisa Mbuzi, Zethembe Ngcobo, Tholigunya Ngwabe and Lwazi Dladla received bursaries from the Willowton Group.

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile Seven students (from left) Mthokozisi Madondo, Sindiswa Magwaza, Babuse Mthethwa, Yonelisa Mbuzi, Zethembe Ngcobo, Tholigunya Ngwabe and Lwazi Dladla received bursaries from the Willowton Group.

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SEVEN students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal breathed a great sigh of relief on Monday after receiving bursaries from Willowton Group to pay for their studies.

The students, Sindiswa Magwaza, Lwazi Dladla, Zethembe Ngcobo, Babuse­ Mthethwa, Yonelisa Mbuzi, Tholigunya Ngwabe and Mthokozisi Madondo are beneficiaries of the R4 000 000 Willowton Group Bursary Fund created by the UKZN Foundation.

Speaking at the official handover of the first cheque of R1 000 000, Willowton Group executive director, Abdul Razak Moosa said the bursary fund will assist students at UKZN, the Durban­ University of Technology and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

“We have over a number of years been giving back to the community, but in the last few years, we have decided we must do a bit more especially in education. We have committed ourselves for the next five years to contribute a million each.”

Moosa said they will be sponsoring seven students in the first year and an additional four recipients will be given bursaries in each of the remaining four years.

“The intention is that you will all benefit the country once you’ve qualified in the agriculture sector, engineering, and science because that is where the skills are needed in this country.”

“After the problem of #FeesMustFall protests its important businesses support universities and assist in the funding of students fees. One can not only rely on grants and aid from the state. Business benefitted and it is their turn to give back. It’s our hope that having started something here there will be other companies that will give back to help eliminate the problems students have been experiencing over the last few years.”

Receiving the cheque, UKZN Vice-Chancellor Albert van Jaarsveld thanked the Willowton Group for the generous donation.

“As the university, we are trying our utmost best to make sure that students, who do not qualify for National Students Financial Aid Scheme [Nsfas] support are funded. The reality is that government has limits in terms of what it can do and there are always going to be students left without financial support.”

Van Jaarsveld said having a bursary is a significant advantage for the students because no debt is incurred.

“The only obligation you have is to ensure that this investment being made is used wisely. Use it to make sure you focus on your studies and make a success of yourselves.”

One of the recipients, Yonelisa Mbuzi, a first-year agricultural management student from Umtata expressed her gratitude after being selected as one of the beneficiaries.

“Two months ago I did not know how I was going to pay for my studies and I was very stressed, but Willowton Group has come and reduced that stress.”

Mbuzi said she was uncertain about getting funding and was waiting for a response from Nsfas to say whether she would be granted funding.

“My grandmother, who is a pensioner, was very happy when I told her I had received a bursary. This bursary will assist in achieving my career goal and reduce the financial burden.”

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