The Schalk Willem Theron Trust has entered into a partnership with the South African National Parks (SANParks) and Nelson Mandela University to uphold the legacy of the Trust's late namesake, who was a fervent conservationist. A Memorandum of Understanding that directs the relationship between the primary stakeholders was signed at the Nelson Mandela University's George campus on the 28 September 2018.
From L-R: Mechiel Jacobus Boshoff, Rinette Boshoff, Professor Sibongile Muthwa and Fundisile Mketeni
Representative of the Schalk Willem Theron Trust, Mechiel Jacobus Boshoff stated that the bursary will commence in 2020 for students in their second year of study in nature conservation, prioritizing those from disadvantaged backgrounds. “These are students whose combined family income is between R350,000 and R600,000 per annum and who fall outside the parameters indicated for the Government’s NSFAS bursary scheme which supports students from households with a joint income of less than R350,000 per annum (currently termed ‘free higher education’)”.
“An initial amount of R2 million will be invested towards Nelson Mandela University to fund bursaries for five promising students,” said Boshoff. The scheme will also avail funding for Honours and Masters students.
Fundisile Mketeni, SANParks Chief Executive Officer (CEO), said, “SANParks will cooperate fully with the terms of the MoU by facilitating the selection of student recipients for the bursary, the placement of selected bursary holders for in-service training for completion of the practical year of the qualification at SANParks facilities and others.”
Dr Denver Webb of the University’s Strategic Resource Mobilisation Office welcomed the partnership and thanked both the Schalk Willem Trust and SANParks for partnering with the University in this manner. “The focus on Nature Conservation bursaries is also to be welcomed as traditionally this has not attracted external funding to the same extent as some other courses."
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