The golfing fraternity, corporate sponsors, UKZN alumni, staff, students and friends of the University took to the Zimbali Golf Course on 31 August 2016 for a round of golf and to award scholarships to eight deserving students.
Over R300 000 was raised this year, a significant increase on the R115 000 raised in 2015. Standard Bank, the main sponsor, donated a whopping R180 000 towards the scholarships for academically deserving students who are unable to afford their tuition fees. Bidvest was the second highest sponsor at R54 000.
Executive Director of Corporate Relations, Mr Lesiba Seshoka, said this year that the beneficiaries of the funds are students who fall into the ‘Missing Middle’ category. ‘These are the students who are deemed to be too rich to qualify for financial support, but are financially needy,’ said Seshoka.
‘The plight of the Missing Middle students came to the fore at the start of what is now popularly known as the #FeesMustFall campaign,’ he said. ‘In raising funds for the bursaries for these students, we hope that it reduces some of the burden they face.’
Seshoka acknowledged and thanked the donors for changing the lives of these students for the better, and encouraged the students to keep working hard.
Head of Corporate Sales at Standard Bank and UKZN alumnus, Mr Themba Rikhotso, reaffirmed Standard Bank’s commitment to this worthy cause and emphasised the role that everyone should play in addressing the funding of student fees. Standard Bank has been the primary sponsor of UKZN’s Golf Day for seven years running, and has donated an additional “once-off” R100 000 towards the cause this year.
Speaking on behalf of the students who received bursaries at the event, fourth-year LLB student Mr Ntokozo Mbeje focused on education, universities and opportunities and thanked those who had ‘banked on them, making something of themselves’ and for ‘investing in our future so we can someday in the future pay it forward’.
He thanked Standard Bank for the new accounts (with no bank fees for a year) and for the personal bankers they had been provided with, and quipped that he had called his current bank, saying: ‘Hey Steve … I’m leaving you. I’ve found greener pastures, and I’m #MovingForward and if you guys don’t change your ways, then you are gonna get a hashtag BankFeesMustFall!’
Health Sciences student and scholarship recipient Mr Vusi Mgoboza said: ‘My plan for the future is to become a cardiothoracic surgeon or neurosurgeon. If I can’t do that, I will become a Medical officer in a rural area, preferably near home, where I can make a difference.’
Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Albert van Jaarsveld thanked all those who had made the Golf Day initiative a success.
This year’s sponsors included: Standard Bank, Bidvest Bank, Investec, Shepstone & Wylie, DALRO, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Magic Pan Caterers, Tsogo Sun, Deloitte, Eduloan, Focus Project Management, Nashua Communications (Pty) Ltd and Sanlam.
Corporate Relations’ Shakila Thakurpersad and the Golf Day Committee were acknowledged for their efforts in putting the event together and for fundraising for the scholarships.
The Golf Day initiative, started by UKZN Corporate Relations thirteen years ago, has raised over 1 million Rand during its existence and has provided nearly 100 students with financial assistance.