Willowton Group donates R5 million for bursaries to the University of KwaZulu-Natal - Placing Higher Education
Willowton Group donates R5 million for bursaries to the University of KwaZulu-Natal - Placing Higher Education

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Willowton Group donates R5 million for bursaries to the University of KwaZulu-Natal - Placing Higher Education


Seven disadvantaged learners have received bursaries for their tertiary education from Pietermaritzburg based Willowton Group. Mr. Abdul Razak Moosa, executive director at Willowton Group presented the first cheque of R1 million to the vice chancellor, Dr. Albert van Jaarsveld of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The balance of the donation, a further R4 million will be made over the remaining four years.

With these funds, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Foundation has created the Willowton Group Bursary Fund which will ensure continuity over time. The Willowton Group Bursary Fund will assist financially disadvantaged engineering and technology students from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science. This is in alignment with the UKZN business sector and their interest in stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship.

Seven learners have received bursaries for their first year’s tuition and an additional four recipients will be given bursaries in each of the remaining four years. The bursaries are issued for the duration of the degree, subject to the learner passing at the end of each year.

Willowton Group is proud to support education in South Africa, particularly where they can make a difference to a learner who shows initiative to better themselves.

“The #feesmustfall campaign which disrupted education in 2015 and 2016 has highlighted the need for corporate business to become more involved, by financially assisting those without the resources to improve their education. Our company has made a decision to increase support for education and this donation is being made to deserving students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend University,” said Abdul Razak Moosa. “We believe corporate business should focus on education to build a strong society and economy. All seven learners attended Quantile 1, 2 and 3 schools in the Pietermaritzburg area and have passed their matric certificate with flying colours, these rural schools are some of the most disadvantaged.”

The donation will be made to learners from The College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science studying science and technology qualifications at the Pietermaritzburg campus. These include chemists, computer scientists, agricultural engineers and environmental scientists.

The learners were interviewed from those who applied and seven selected to receive a bursary in year one. Each of the learners will receive a full bursary inclusive of tuition fees, residence fees, meal allowance, book allowance and a laptop allowance.

On receiving the cheque, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld, UKZN Vice-Chancellor said, “On behalf of Council, staff and students, I would like to thank Willowton Group for their generous support. He added that with student funding â€" every cent counted and that the donation would go a long way in assisting struggling students.” Dr van Jaarsveld indicated that many academically sound students were having difficulties funding their studies and that the monies would provide welcome financial relief to those students and their families. At the ceremony, Yonelisa Mbuzi, one of the bursary candidates expressed her gratitude for the financial support, without which she didn’t know how she would raise the funds for the fees.

“This bursary will give me financial security to concentrate on studying towards my degree and achieving my career goals.  Once qualified, it is my aim to give back to the community,” said Yonelisa Mbuzi.

“Willowton Group has always placed education high on its priority, sponsoring various initiatives to give back to the South African community. These include science and maths kits to increase the number of school learners graduating in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The company has also set up a school Bursary Fund and the Sunfoil Education Trust which make bursaries available to deserving students,” said Moosa.

With this latest donation, in the past five years over R20 million has been donated by Willowton Group to funding educational bursaries for deserving learners in South Africa.

Willowton Group donates R5 million for bursaries to the University of KwaZulu-Natal - Placing Higher Education

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