Department awards bursaries to hardworking matriculants

Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala has hailed teachers and guardians as true heroes and heroines and thanked them for encouraging, motivating and guiding learners during the 2023 matric examination. 'To the bursary awardees, you are the crown in the jewel; and today we sing your praises for demonstrating that paying attention and putting in effort pays,' Zikalala said on Thursday, during a ceremony to award bursaries to 100 learners from the Class of 2023 who have enrolled to study various built environment courses at universities across the country. Zikalala congratulated the learners for being worthy recipients of the prestigious bursaries from the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. He said the young people who are receiving the bursaries have honoured the sacrifices of the youth of 1976 who protested against an inferior Bantu Education that sought to turn education for the black majority into an instrument of racial subjugation and guarantor for the supply of cheap blac k labour. 'The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) plays a critical role in delivering essential services. To do so effectively, it must have a highly skilled and competent workforce. 'This year is the 10th year that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has been offering these bursaries to address the challenges of the skills pipeline and transformation in the Built Environment. 'Our university bursary scheme is one of the ways through which as a department, we respond to the country's occupation skills that are in high demand as gazetted by the Department of Higher Education and Training,' the Minister said. The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure Bursary Scheme supports undergraduate study areas like: Construction Project Management, Occupational Health and Safety, Quantity Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Property Studies, Real Estate, Urban Design and Regional Planning, Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Structural, Chemical), Interior D esign, Actuarial Science, Horticulture, Geographic Information Science (GISc) and Maritime Studies. The Council for the Built Environment (CBE) has lamented the slow pace of transformation in the built environment which is compounded by the challenge of aging professionals who are leaving the sector. 'One of our programmes to address these challenges and in contributing to the skills of the future in our sector is the department's schools programme and the university bursary scheme programme. 'We are pleased to report that our valued bursary beneficiaries are supported financially throughout their tertiary studies until graduation. 'Upon completion of studies, bursary holders join the department's internship programme wherein they gain relevant technical experience for a duration of 24 months in line with their contractual obligation to the department and in accordance to the DPSA regulated internship period,' Zikalala said. The estimated budget per student is R177 500. This amount varies based on the in stitution and study programme. The department has allocated budget of R17 800 000 for the 2024 academic year new intake. The bursary covers all university costs including tuition fees, accommodation, meals, textbooks, projects, excursions and a monthly allowance. Source: South African Government News Agency