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Alfeco Groups Awards Touches Lives with Bursaries Awards

In the words of our iconic leader Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Striving forward with youth empowerment through education and the culture of Ubuntu, The Alfeco Group launched its first inaugural Bursary Awards Ceremony on September 2, 2021, in Alberton.

Business Strategy Group Executive, Neil Reddy explained that the Group provided much-needed bursaries worth R2,8-million to over 50 higher-education students from the University of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni West TVET College the IIE’s Rosebank College and Monash South Africa and 15 internal staff from the Group.

“The Alfeco Bursary Awards Ceremony gave us an opportunity to provide debt relief for students who had tuition debt that was interfering with their graduation further to that as a form of youth upliftment and staff development we provided upskilling opportunities and advancement within the manufacturing industry to our employees,” said Reddy.

The selection criterion was kept simple, the Group identified deserving students who had been underfunded and financially excluded by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.
“We focused on helping final-year students in the Metallurgy, Finance, and Engineering faculties so we could potentially provide career growth opportunities using our pre-existing internships, learnerships or apprenticeships ran with our training authority body partners MerSeta,” said Reddy.

The executive went on to congratulate all the bursary recipients.

“The Group wishes all our bursary recipients all the success to realise their potential fully and one day become key players in the manufacturing industry of South Africa and the SADC region.
We are proud that we are actively contributing to communities and empowering the future generations that will be running this industry in years to come,” added Reddy.

UJ’s Head of Metallurgy, Professor Elizabeth Makhatha thanked the Alfeco Group for relieving their students from the financial debt and opening opportunities for all stakeholders.
“The bursaries mean a great deal our department, industry and the physical metallurgy students. These bursaries will build student’s confidence and motivate our staff members to ensure that our department stays relevant to the industries we serve and produce students for.

This will also help us gain a competitive edge in the global marketplace as well,” said Professor Makhatha.

She further urged school leavers to consider metallurgy as a career since it is an unconventional career that many high school learners and their parents have little to no knowledge of.

EWC’s Partnership Manager Manie Stoltz highlighted that recently EWC TVET College formed a partnership with The Alfeco Group.

“Usually, such partnerships are formed with the view of giving students practical exposure in the workplace, but with the current pandemic, it is not always the ideal to take more people into the workplace. However, the Group offered to give 15 Students from EWC TVET College that could not afford their tuition fees and did not qualify for the NSFAS (National Student Financial Assistance Scheme) bursaries, financial assistance in the form of a bursary to pay their outstanding fees,” said Stoltz.

He added that the noble vision behind this act has provided hope for these students to carry on with their studies even though they did not have the financial means.

“Education is the solution to the extreme poverty and unemployment rate in South Africa and with the generosity of companies like The Alfeco Group, we can overcome both these challenges.
This Group is setting an example that we hope others will follow,” said Stoltz.

Bursary recipient from UJ, Giovanni Borges said was a privilege to receive the bursary because it means a lot to him and his family.

“I’ve been working hard, daily to continue my studies and enter the finance corporate world-no matter the circumstances.
My parents had to borrow money over the past two years from family and friends to pay for my studies,” said Giovanni.

The hardworking student started an import and export business where he works in Angola and Mozambique to earn an income to help his family with paying for his studies.

“I am also a tutor to first-year students at the University of Johannesburg Business Management faculty,” said Borges.

Keynote speaker and local Alberton author Veli Ndaba gave an inspiring talk to attendees on the need for Confidence, self-actualisation for one to reach their dream.

Entertainment from Abafana bo Gedla kept the audience thrilled with their authentic Zulu traditional songs and dances.

Amongst other honourable guests was the bursary recipients, City of Ekurhuleni’s Jullie Beya, IDC’s Luluma Siqithi, UJ’s Head of Metallurgy, Professor Elizabeth Makhatha, EWC’s Manie Stoltz, Department of Labour representatives and MerSeta officials.

CEO of the Alfeco Group Sachin Ahuja inspired the students to aspire to use their education and experience to be entrepreneurs.

“You are the future of tomorrow, go out there and create opportunities for yourselves and others,” said Ahuja.

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