"Financial assistance is available to high school learners and students of tertiary institutions in the Eastern Cape who are looking to pursue careers which involve maths and science.” This is the message being relayed by the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) at their annual scholarship and bursary roadshows currently underway in the province.
The roadshows include three programmes, the university roadshows, the bursary and scholarship programmes for high school learners and the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) roadshows which are taking place at all colleges in the Eastern Cape.
The roadshows are being led by SANRAL project manager, Lindelani Tsanwani, who was among the first 10 students to ever be awarded a SANRAL bursary.
“With regards to bursaries and scholarships, we are visiting Eastern Cape high schools to create awareness of the opportunities afforded by SANRAL.
“We aim to visit all schools that received an average of 55% pass rate in grade 12 last year. We have schools in the deep rural areas doing well in maths and science. I understand the struggle and having to stress about not knowing how you will pay for your fees. Transformation includes giving opportunities to the disadvantaged. Eastern Cape is one of the poorer provinces in South Africa and we need to have more bursary holders coming from this area.
“With the applications closing on 30 September 2017, we are trying to cover as many schools as we can,” Tsanwani said.
Earlier this month Tsanwani and colleagues had successful roadshows at 15 high schools along the R61 between Queenstown and Mthatha.
The university roadshow will include a visit to Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Port Elizabeth on Friday, 22 September and the Walter Sisulu University Butterworth campus on Thursday 28 September. The SANRAL team visited the Walter Sisulu University East London campus last week.
At these roadshows SANRAL explains the practical training opportunities that are available for students currently completing their diploma qualifications. Practical training is a requirement of all civil diploma qualifications. These training opportunities are offered on all SANRAL projects.
“Throughout the roadshows we aim to create relationships between SANRAL, universities and the students and to engage them on how we can make the training programme work better for everyone and be accessible for everyone.”
Tsanwani was among the first four bursary graduates to be employed permanently by SANRAL after university and was among the first ever graduates to manage a SANRAL project. He was also among the first bursary students to complete his Masters studies which was also paid for by SANRAL.
“I was also one of the first graduates to be registered as a Professional Engineer by SANRAL. I am very proud to be the first in most of the things that SANRAL has done for me and my career,” he concluded.
Learners can apply for the SANRAL scholarship programme which supports academically deserving applicants in grades 10 to 12. The minimum requirements are: an overall aggregate of 75% - with at least 70% in mathematics and science and 65% in English.
The bursaries are awarded to needy South African students who have successfully completed their first year of undergraduate studies or those currently registered for 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year and postgraduate studies.
Applications for SANRAL bursaries and scholarships close on 30 September.