BURSARIES FOR LOERIESFONTEIN YOUTH AIM TO BUILD CAPACITY AND PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES
The Khobab Wind Farm’s bursary programme seeks to provide post-school study opportunities, particularly for local youth. However, it also has a long term goal. “It is our hope that our tertiary bursary programme will be able to eventually focus on STEM subjects, such as engineering, accounting and sciences, but until the mathematics and science base grows amongst tertiary school leavers, we are committed to providing opportunities to as many community members as is possible, without being limiting or prescriptive,” said Vanessa Fredericks, Economic Development Manager for Khobab Wind Farm.
2019 sees six new bursaries being awarded to mostly first year students, bringing the total of eleven students currently being supported. This is a substantial penetration, considering that the bursary only launched in 2018, providing two application periods, June and September.
“The bursary has opened a door for me that I wasn’t able to open for myself. Yes, my marks were good enough to qualify for the bursary, but without the financial support, I would not have been able go to university. Khobab Wind Farm’s bursary programme has made it possible for me to study and build a future for myself,” said Maygon Meyer, bursary recipient.
This Northern Cape wind farms’ education development programme primarily supports maths and science teachers in primary and high schools in Loeriesfontein. “These subjects are considered critical for our country’s economy, and through this support we would like to see an improvement in maths and science outcomes amongst learners, and eventually an increase in the numbers of learners opting to study maths and science in the senior grades,” added Fredericks.
The bursary programme, on the other hand, is currently open to all applicants wishing to pursue studies at university or technical college and is not limited to any field of study. The purpose of this is to enhance capabilities and provide opportunities to as many community members as is possible, without being limiting or prescriptive.
The single requirement is that the student needs to be a resident of Loeriesfontein, to ensure that this community benefits directly. “The student needs to be a resident of Loeriesfontein, they need to have matriculated well enough to qualify for acceptance into a college or university, the joint family income needs to meet a set threshold; and in balancing demand versus budget the allocations will always be made on academic merit,” explained Fredericks.
The bursary covers the full financial obligations of the tertiary degree, from first to final year, assuming that the student passes each year to qualify for funding in the following year. It is a full bursary that covers tuition, accommodation, books, travel to and from the institution, meals etc.
The 2020 intake applications will open during September 2019 and be promoted to Grades 10 to 12, at Loeriesfontein High School.
The 140MW Khobab Wind Farm is owned by a number of equity members, these include: Lekela, a renewable power generation company which delivers utility-scale projects that supply much-needed clean energy to communities across Africa; Thebe Investment Corporation; one of South Africa’s most established broad based BEE Investment management companies and leading investor in the Energy & Resources sector; The IDEAS Managed Fund, a policy product of Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Limited; Futuregrowth Asset Management is a specialist investment company which manages the full range of interest bearing and developmental investments in an ethical and sustainable way; Genesis Eco-Energy in partnership with Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital. Genesis Eco Energy is a pioneering South African renewable energy developer; Loeriesfontein Community Trust: Established by the project company with the objective of carrying out public benefit activities to benefit the local community in the areas of enterprise development, education and health.