21 May 2004
Cida City Campus, a business and technology university that supports financially disadvantaged students, has launched a broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) fund to finance its programmes.
The fund will buy stakes in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that service corporate South Africa and need BEE credentials to generate business.
The Community and Individual Development Association – or Cida – City Campus is a non-profit university in the heart of Johannesburg’s CBD, founded in 1999. Within the first few years of its operation, it had raised funds for student scholarships valued at over R100-million.
Cida CEO Taddy Blecher said a graduate internship placement programme with the companies Cida acquired stakes in would help businesses to satisfy BEE scorecard requirements on skills development, employment equity and social investment.
“The profits from training spend [in companies] flows back to the fund to help educate more black students”, Blecher said.
The fund currently has R1-million in capital, and expects more to flow once stakes in other companies are acquired.
The fund will then be used to subsidise Cida students, who will be required to pay only a R350 registration fee and R150 a month for tuition.
The fund’s operating director, Sandile Ndlungwane, said Cida was on the way to realising its vision of free higher education for its students.
“The fund’s aim is to emphasise free education”, Ndlungwane said. “We are not there yet, but the basic vision of free education will be reached.”