ITHUBA in partnership with the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Foundation gives 26 students a once- in-a lifetime opportunity to further their studies.
ITHUBA in partnership with the Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Foundation, today (05 March 2021) awarded 26 students with full time university scholarships, bringing the 2021 intake to 41 students.
The ITHUBA Scholarship Intake Ceremony for the 2021 academic year, where Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande was a keynote speaker, saw the youngsters being presented with an opportunity to make their dreams become a reality.
In his address, the Minister expressed the importance of collaborative efforts to ensure a better future for the youth of South Africa: “I have decided to support this event primarily because it is important to mobilise the whole of South Africa, especially those of us with resources to join in the effort of educating our youth and therefore educating the nation – albeit holding it under difficult circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic. It is pleasing to see ITHUBA, our National Lottery Operator prioritising the education of our youth by awarding them with bursaries that covers full university tuition, housing and living expenses in order for them to pursue their dreams in their chosen fields of study. Much as government has, and continues to, put billions of rands into education, and that our single highest budget expenditure is for education, government alone will not be able to tackle the enormity of the education challenge. Hence the importance and significance of the role played by foundations like yours (the Ithuba Scholarship)”, said Minister Blade Nzimande.
In its 21 years of existence, the Scholarship Foundation has funded the education of more than 200 students. The Eric and Charmaine Mabuza Scholarship Foundation, which started in Mpumalanga, spread its reach to the rest of South Africa in 2015, in partnership with ITHUBA, the National Lottery Operator.
The intake ceremony and assessment week held at the beginning of each academic year is extremely important to ITHUBA as it reflects the Operator’s commitment to continue contributing actively and positively towards developing South African communities. In addition, this initiative forms part of the
Operator’s recognition of the importance of a solid foundation of a career path, bearing in mind the Vision 2030 National Skills Development Plan (NSDP) strategy.
Speaking at the scholarship intake ceremony, Group CEO Charmaine Mabuza said: “The partnership with ITHUBA, the National Lottery Operator, in 2015 amplified and accelerated the reach and impact of this initiative. Yet, even after so many years, each time we award a young person with a scholarship, it feels like it is the first”, said Mabuza.
“That’s because we do not take for granted that inequality is still a reality in our country, that while a lot has changed, some of the struggles in black communities have remained the same, access to higher education and training being one of them. We have witnessed the efforts put forward by the government to meet the costs of education. We are equally aware that, that alone cannot create a substantially educated and effectively skilled next generation. We need more than that. We need active corporate citizens who work hand in hand with both the government and communities we operate in, to eradicate poverty and inequality through education,” Mabuza added.
She commended the selected students for having demonstrated tenacity by passing matric with flying colours despite facing challenging times.
“Many of the young people you see here today have been through very difficult times. Some are from child-headed homes. But despite the challenging family dynamics, lack of basic needs, poverty, add to that the Covid-19 pandemic and its dreadful impacts, they have made it – passed their matric with numerous distinctions. They have indeed demonstrated tenacity. “Now, it is our turn as responsible corporate citizens to meet this resilience with Ubuntu. I am delighted to welcome the 26 new students into the 2021 intake of the scholarship foundation,”
WHAT THE SCHOLARSHIP ENTAILS:
The scholarship foundation covers tuition, student accommodation, study manuals and books, meal allowance, personal care allowance, laptops and data allowance, and psychological and emotional support through ICAS, Continuous academic performance monitoring and assessment of students to ensure optimal performance, Early intervention, and support program, preparation for workplace readiness, additional female-orientated skills development programs and mentoring and coaching for all students.