2 February 2018
EThekwini Mayor Celebrates with Student Beneficiaries
The importance of education was emphasised by eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede at a Mayoral Breakfast held with 450 invited youth who have benefitted from funding or skills development in the Municipality.
The Breakfast, held today, 10 February at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, also served to motivate students to work hard whether at university or placed in an internship or learnership programme within the City’s various departments.
Delivering the keynote address, Mayor Gumede said the Breakfast was held to engage with all the City’s beneficiaries including those who received funding or benefitted from skills development programmes.
She said the engagement would provide feedback so the City could better assist students next year.
“I am excited that you are here today and that you can witness what we are doing as the City to empower and assist young people. This is the year of Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu and we will draw many lessons from them particularly Baba Mandela who was passionate about education,” she said.
Mayor Gumede encouraged the youth to take the opportunity given to them seriously.
“Education should be taken very seriously. We have been working hard to change the lives of people in our communities through education even though it is not our mandate as local government. We have found creative ways to assist you in educating and empowering yourselves.”
She further encouraged them to study in areas of scarce skills which is vital to the skills development of the country.
Previous beneficiaries from different bursary schemes also spoke at the event to encourage the current recipients to work hard and excel.
Deveshnee Pillay, a third year civil engineering student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) said she was thankful for the financial assistance from the Municipality which allowed her to pursue the field of civil engineering.
She said at one stage she was unsure how she was going to complete her studies because of lack of funding.
“Thank you eThekwini Municipality for the bursary, you have given me a new light in my life and have truly given me a life changing opportunity. I want to encourage other young people who want to study but don’t have the finances to have faith, it will work out in the end.”
Another recipient was engineer-in-training Gugu Shozi who studied electrical engineering at UKZN. Despite having no finances at home she worked hard and received a bursary from the Municipality to complete her studies and was placed as an engineer-in-training this year.
“I would like to thank the Municipality for giving me this opportunity especially as a young, black female,” she said.
Zamokuhle Thwala, a final year agricultural engineering student is already paying it forward after receiving financial assistance.
The small-scale farmer and aspiring entrepreneur runs a programme assisting grade 10 to 12 students with Mathematics, Science, English and Accounting.
“I approached Mama Gumede after being stranded and stressed with outstanding fees of R70 000. She assured me she would assist me and she did. We are privileged to be led by a leader of your calibre and you are a good person to look up to.”
Summing up the theme of the day, Councillor Thembo Ntuli who serves as deputy chair of the Community Services Committee said education was important.
“It is the most important weapon to make our country even better than it is presently. As the City we are giving you all the assistance you require to pursue your dreams, but remember it is not only about you. You must sow back in your communities and your City,” he said.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Head of Communications Tozi Mthethwa.
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