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EThekwini Mayor motivates student beneficiaries
​EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede is pictured with
students who have benefitted from the City’s
funding programmes or learnerships at a Mayoral
Breakfast held on 10 February. From left is Hleliwe
Zwane, Gugu Shozi, Zamokuhle Thwala, Deveshnee
Pillay and Thobile Mbonambi.
Picture: ZAMANTUNGWA GUMEDE

ZAMOKUHLE Thwala, a final year agricultural engineering student is able to give back to her community after receiving financial assistance from eThekwini Municipality.

The small-scale farmer and aspiring entrepreneur runs a programme that assists Grade 10 to Grade 12 students with Mathematics, Science, English and Accounting. Thwala received funding from the City to pay for his outstanding fees of R70 000 and is one of thousands of students that the Municipality has empowered.

At a Mayoral Breakfast hosted for 450 invited youth who have benefitted from funding or skills development in the Municipality, eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede emphasised the importance of education. The Breakfast, held on 10 February at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, also served to motivate students. Delivering the keynote address, Mayor Gumede said the Breakfast was held to engage with all the City’s beneficiaries including those who received funding or benefitted from skills development programmes. She said the engagement would provide feedback so the City could better assist students next year. “I am excited that you are here today and that you can witness what we are doing as the City to empower and assist young people,” she said.

Mayor Gumede encouraged the youth to take the opportunity given to them seriously. “We have been working hard to change the lives of people in our communities through education even though it is not our mandate as local government. We have found creative ways to assist you in educating and empowering yourselves.” Previous beneficiaries also spoke at the event to encourage the current recipients to work hard.

Deveshnee Pillay, a third year civil engineering student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) said she was thankful for the financial assistance from the Municipality, adding that the “Municipality has given her a life changing opportunity”. Another recipient was engineer-in-training Gugu Shozi who studied electrical engineering at UKZN. Despite having no finances at home she worked hard and received a bursary from the Municipality to complete her studies. “I would like to thank the Municipality for giving me this opportunity especially as a young, black female,” she said.

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