THERE was a sigh of relief at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) following the injection of R20 million to assist in providing debt relief for the students.
The cash injection is from the Moses Kotane Institute (MKI) and the newly established merSETA Skills Development Fund, which helps ease the problems of skills gaps and the student debt burden within KwaZulu-Natal.
Other higher institutions that benefited from the same fund include Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the University of Zululand (UNIZULU). Commenting on the funding, acting executive director of the UKZN Foundation, Steve Camp, said the debt relief assistance is a beacon of hope, particularly for students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, helping alleviate financial constraints and opening doors to brighter futures.
Camp highlighted: “Philanthropic support from UKZN partners, such as the Moses Kotane Institute and merSETA, lifts a weight from our students in tough economic times, freeing them to get into the job market, to lead healthy, joy-filled lives and find purpose in work, play, family and more. It is a gift beyond measure.” He said the initiative not only holds the potential to drive KZN’s economic resurgence but also promises sustainable growth in the long run.
Advocate Thembelihle Mapipa, an acting CEO of MKI, emphasised that the institute shows unwavering dedication to addressing challenges faced by students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. Mapipa added, “Our focus over the years has been on making a significant contribution to improving the skills development of KZN’s younger generation. In approaching merSETA, we sought support to develop strategies that not only enhance employability and productivity but also contribute to economic growth and promote a more inclusive and equitable society.”