Two students from the Lekoa Shandu Secondary School in Sharpeville, Soweto, were awarded bursaries from Brand South Africa to further their studies in marketing and communication at the North West University.
The students, Thandeka Dlamini and Palesa Mphache, were among the Class of 2013’s top performers at the school.
The students received the bursaries at the school on 17 January as part of Brand South Africa’s drive to give back to the community of Sharpeville, recognising the pivotal role of students in the area in changing how the international community viewed apartheid and its proponents.
School pupils in Sharpeville, in 1960, protested the introduction of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in schools; during the protests apartheid police forces opened fire with live ammunition on the children, prompting condemnation and worldwide protest. This year, 54 years after the massacre, South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy.
SUPPORTING STUDENT’S EDUCATION
Brand South Africa chief executive officer, Miller Matola, said the organisation is “delighted to play its part in supporting the further education of two students who have played their part to qualify for further education opportunities.
“We congratulate them on their outstanding matric results and wish them well as they enter another phase of their lives – tertiary education”.
The Brand South Africa Play Your Part campaign encourages South Africans, including those in civil society, government, business, and non-governmental organisations, to contribute actively and positively to developing their communities.
Matola says education is important to allow South Africans to come up with innovations and technologies allowing the country to prosper. He believes that South Africa is one of the best countries in the world because of all it can offer.
“We look forward to their contribution to our country and its development once they have completed their studies. We urge the Class of 2014 to remain committed to preparing for their final examinations at the end of the year so that they too can access further education and training opportunities,” he said.
Eric Xayiya, member of the executive council for economic development in Gauteng, present at the event, said Lekoa Shandu Secondary students were selected for the bursary because of the school’s rich history as one of the oldest schools in the country.
Collins Chabane, minister for performance monitoring and evaluation in the Presidency, selected the school to receive the bursaries on Mandela Day in 2013. The Brand South Africa bursaries offer an incentive for students to rise above their circumstances and perform well in their final school exams.