(Published - 14 November 2018)
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) and ABSA continue to build a prosperous partnership for student scholarship, with the bank making yet another donation towards the future of UWC and its students. A cheque handover event took place on 9 November 2018, officiated by ABSA delegates as well as UWC executive staff and various departments.
UWC’s Executive Director of Finance and Services, Mr Manie Regal, delivered words of reflection in his opening address, touching on the significance of the day and on the partnership that UWC has with ABSA.
“We have managed to foster a relationship with ABSA because of their belief in our vision and mission - to give our students not only formal learning, but also the necessary skills that will ensure their success.”
UWC’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, reflected on a time when the University needed a helping hand - not only in terms of its finances to keep its doors open, but to help lift the financial strain on UWC students - and recalled how, during this time, ABSA lent that financial hand.
“As a university we have always committed to providing equitable and affordable access, and fortunately ABSA is in line with this motive,” Prof Pretorius said. “The bank’s financial support means a great deal to us, and especially to our students. We therefore appreciate this partnership.”
This partnership was launched in 2017, influenced by ABSA’s citizenship policy which is guided by three pillars: financial inclusion; development of entrepreneurship support; and education and skills development.
Education and skills development is one of the initiatives that ensure the bank’s involvement in universities, giving students the necessary skills to develop in the country - and in turn, to develop the country and the future.
Mr. Bonisile Magewu, Head of the South African Coastal Region Public Sector for ABSA bank, made the official statement, and handed over the cheque to the University.
“The relationship that we have with UWC is a partnership relationship which goes beyond just a cheque and a loan account,” he said. “We invest so much in order to be part of this ecosystem because we value and treasure this relationship so much - and we are committed to growing it beyond student funding.”
Ms. Wandile Mhlanga is one of the ABSA funding recipients, and a final-year student in BCom majoring in Finance and Investment, as well as a former SRC member. She is from a small village called Metsi in Mpumalanga, and like many of her peers, she is in the missing middle.
“I am so honoured to be one of the ABSA recipients,” she said, discussing the major impact the funding has had on her life, and the financial strain that it has lifted.
“Not only has this scholarship helped me financially - because it came at a time when I had just been dropped by a bursar - but I have been exposed to workshops that are teaching me about money and saving, and planning for my financial future.”
UWC’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Development and Support, Professor Pamela Dube, closed the afternoon with words of thanks for the various departments that ensured the success of the event and the partnership itself, and a special vote of thanks to ABSA for their support and the amount of effort they put into their partnership with the University.
“I would like to thank our partners and express our gratitude for this partnership, and for the support and effort put into it,” she said. “Wandile is a shining example of the students you support, who work hard for success and who are actively involved in this programme and the University community. The difference you make in their lives is something worth celebrating.”