While so many South African students are struggling to pay their post-matric school fees, either current or historic debt, nine of the University students can consider themselves lucky. These Engineering students have been given full bursaries by the Dube Tradeport for the 2021 academic year. Cynthia Nkosi, Senior Bursaries Officer in the Financial Aid Office, said that the organisation has been supporting the University students from 2014 – 2016 and had a break in 2017, 18 and 19. “In 2020 they resumed their support for our students. This year they are supporting nine students,” said Cynthia. Cynthia said such help means a lot for her office and the University. “The Financial Aid Office and the University at large is grateful with the support from Dube Tradeport because it targets students from the missing middle cohort. This alleviates the financial burden to students as they do not qualify for NSFAS funding,” said Cynthia. Cynthia added that now the students would be able to concentrate on their studies “and produce pleasing results. This has a positive impact in the University throughput.”
Phumla Mtolo, a third year student studying towards a Diploma in Quantity Surveying, confirmed such a sentiment. Phumla, from Mbali Township, in Pietermaritzburg, said she used to be stressed before she got financial help from Dube Tradeport last year. The organisation is settling all her fees, for 2021, and 2020.
Solomon Nkosi, Corporate Social Investment Manager at Dube Tradeport, said the bursary was comprehensive. “The bursary will cover tuition, accommodation, living allowance, and book allowance. The total funding for 2021 is R733 638.00. Solomon said they did not have strict conditions for the bursaries. All the students need to do is to conduct themselves well, and pass well, he said.