The University of KwaZulu-Natal has received a cash boost of R20 million that will go a long way towards helping students in debt.
The cash injection is from the Moses Kotane Institute (MKI) and the newly-established merSETA Skills Development Fund which helps ease the problems of skills gaps and the student debt burden within KwaZulu-Natal, UKZN explained in a statement.
The institute added that various other higher education institutions, including the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), Durban University of Technology (DUT), and University of Zululand (UniZulu), will also benefit.
Acting Executive Director of the UKZN Foundation, Steve Camp, said philanthropic support from UKZN partners such as the Moses Kotane Institute and merSETA lifts a weight from students in tough economic times.
“It frees them to get into the job market, to lead healthy, joy-filled lives and find purpose in work, play, family and more. It is a gift beyond measure,” he added.
Acting CEO of MKI, advocate Thembelihle Mapipa added that this was in line with the institute's unwavering dedication to address challenges faced by students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Our focus over the years has been on making a significant contribution to improving the skills development of KZN’s younger generation. In approaching merSETA, we sought support to develop strategies that not only enhance employability and productivity, but also contribute to economic growth and promote a more inclusive and equitable society,” she said.
KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs, Siboniso Duma said he supported the initiative, recognising it as a testament to MKI's commitment to empowering the youth and fostering a stronger, more equitable society.
“This programme is a significant step in the right direction for our province,” Duma said.