The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) is constantly working to fix the member demographics of the chartered accountancy profession to be reflective of those of the country through its renowned Thuthuka Bursary. Chelsea Mckie, a Thuthuka beneficiary studying to be a CA(SA) at Stellenbosch University says: “Being born on the Cape Flats, I was raised by a financially struggling single mother who saw my potential from a young age. She knew that I’d want to further my studies but she didn’t know where the funding would come from. Getting the opportunity to be a Thuthuka recipient has granted me the opportunity to educate myself.”
Recent University of Pretoria graduate, Didintle Malebogo agrees: “I come from a small town called Kuruman and Thuthuka changed my life for the better. Every year, so many students struggle to fund their accommodation, their registration fees, their prescribed textbooks, even getting access to their academic records due to unpaid tertiary funds. For many, even just having enough money to make a good meal is an ongoing struggle. As a Thuthuka beneficiary, I have never had to experience any of that.”
These are not the only people who can attest to the blessing that Thuthuka has brought into their lives. To date, Thuthuka has supported over 3 900 African and Coloured students of which:
- Over 1 400 Thuthuka recipients have qualified and registered as CAs(SA) – an incredible achievement, considering that it takes a minimum of seven years to qualify as a CA(SA); and
- 2 000 more are currently completing various stages of the CA(SA) qualification process.
What is the Thuthuka Bursary?
A bursary fund like none other, Thuthuka covers more than just tuition, books, meals, residence fees and accommodation. The programme follows an integrated and holistic approach to ensure success, by providing students with ‘wrap around’ support in the form of, among others:
- academic support, including various academic enrichment programmes such as additional tutorials, study skills workshops and more
- social and emotional support
- work-readiness and life skills training
- mentoring and counselling
- access to dedicated programme manager exposure to experienced chartered accountants and business leaders as mentors
This model makes Thuthuka students more successful than their counterparts. It is also this approach that makes Thuthuka students ready to face the challenges of the workplace.
Says Lungelo Khoza, aThuthuka Beneficiary and a Rhodes University graduate. “While I truly appreciate the financial help, Thuthuka gives more than that. They arrange meetings, motivations and group studies. They do follow ups. They even organise and hire someone to tutor their beneficiaries to help them with academics. They provide mentors. People that gives beneficiaries direction when they seem to be lost. I really appreciated that.”
To qualify for the Thuthuka bursary, you must
- be a South African citizen;
- be black African or Coloured;
- be either in Grade 12, out of school (with Matric) for no more than two years or a university student currently studying a CA-stream BCom degree;
- have obtained at least 60% (5 or above on the NSC scale of achievement) in Mathematics in Grade 11 or Matric (Maths Literacy and Technical Maths learners are NOT considered);
- have enough points to qualify for university entrance and intend to study a BCom Accounting (CA-stream) degree;
- have applied (or be in the process of applying) for a BCom Accounting (CA-stream) degree at a SAICA-accredited university offering the Thuthuka programme. (The full list of universities offering the Thuthuka programme can be found on saica.co.za);
- come from a family that has a combined income of R350 000 or less and cannot financially support your tertiary education; and
- write and pass the National Benchmark Test (NBT).
The application window to apply for the Thuthuka Bursary 2021 is currently open. To apply, visit www.thuthukabursaryfund.co.za and submit your application before the end of August 2020.