The City of Ekurhuleni has allocated R100m to its community bursary fund to help young people pursue full-time studies at higher and further education institutions.
Speaking at the Academic Excellence Award Ceremony on Wednesday, Ekurhuleni Executive Mayor Mzwandile Masina said this amount was a ten-fold increase from previous years when the bursary fund stood at R10m.
"The net effect of this investment has been an increase in the number of beneficiaries from just under 300 to nearly 2 000.
"This increase in our bursary allocation has enabled us to help many young people realise their dreams of pursuing academic training in different career fields," Masina added.
"While education is not the primary function of local government or a municipal competency, we believe the City has a moral obligation to play its part in aiding national education departments to realise their mandate - a mandate to which we are all direct beneficiaries," he said.
Investing in education, Masina added, would help undo the legacy of apartheid.
"The Gauteng Department of Education and Youth Development has been hard at work ensuring that the legacy of separate development, which has seen township and rural schools grossly under-resourced, is addressed."
In addition to the increase in the Community Bursary Fund, the City has also established the Executive Mayor's Tertiary Assistance Fund that would ensure pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds receive a higher education.
"The 'One Business, One Student' campaign initiated by the executive mayor seeks to encourage the private sector to get involved in educating the City's learners by adopting students and donating full bursary support for the duration of the course.
"It is our belief that [the] government, the private sector and civil society must work together to develop the youth," Masina said.