R5m bursary boost for matric students

14 January 2015

The Department of Public Works (DPW), in partnership with the Construction Education and Training Authority (Ceta), have awarded forty matriculants from schools across South Africa bursaries totalling R5-million to further their built environment studies.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said each student would receive a R120,000 bursary, covering their tertiary studies, accommodation, textbooks and a monthly allowance.

Careers in the built environment include civil, electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering; quantity surveying; property valuation; architecture; landscape architecture and town planning.

To address built environment skills shortages, the DPW adopted the Council for the Built Environment’s (CBE’s) Skills Pipeline strategy aimed at ensuring a seamless flow of professionals into the department.

Each bursary student is contracted to work in the department for the same number of years it took them to complete their studies.

Ceta CEO Sonja Pilusa explained that the training authority had contributed to the bursary scheme through its R50-million discretionary grant to support all DPW capacity-building programmes, including internships, artisan development programmes and schools programmes.

The Ceta had allocated R1.2-billion in skills development over the last two years and R110-million for bursaries in the last financial year.

Turnaround strategy
Nxesi told reporters that the schools programme formed part of the Public Works’ turnaround strategy aimed at streamlining activities, rooting out corruption, promoting efficient labour relations and targeting the challenges the department faced.

Previous bursaries
Of the 50 grade 12 bursary recipients in 2014, a 75% success rate was achieved. Of the 83 tertiary bursaries, 89% passed the subsequent year.

By: Megan Van Wyngaardt

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