The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala has hailed teachers and guardians as true heroes and heroines. He thanked them for encouraging, motivating and guiding learners during the 2023 matric examination.
A total of 100 learners awarded
The minister said this on Thursday, during a ceremony to award bursaries to 100 learners from the Class of 2023. The learners have enrolled to study various built environment courses at universities across the country.
“To the bursary awardees, you are the crown in the jewel. Today we sing your praises for demonstrating that paying attention and putting in effort pays,” Zikalala said.
He congratulated the learners for being worthy recipients of the prestigious bursaries from the department.
He said the young people who are receiving the bursaries have honoured the sacrifices of the youth of 1976. They protested against an inferior Bantu Education. A form of education that sought to turn education for the black majority into an instrument of racial subjugation. It was also to guarantee for the supply of cheap black labour.
Critical role is essential services
“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 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. This is as gazetted by the Department of Higher Education and Training,” the minister said.
The DPWI Bursary Scheme supports undergraduate study areas like: Construction Project Management, Occupational Health and Safety. It also supports Quantity Surveying, Landscape Architecture, and Architecture.
Occupation skills that are in high demand
Property Studies, Real Estate, Urban Design and Regional Planning are also included. Engineering (Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Structural, Chemical), Interior Design, are also supported.
Actuarial Science, Horticulture, Geographic Information Science (GISc) and Maritime Studies too.
The Council for the Built Environment (CBE) has lamented the slow pace of transformation in the built environment. This is compounded by the challenge of aging professionals who are leaving the sector.
“One of our programmes to address these challenges is the department’s schools programme and the university bursary scheme programme.
Support through to graduation
“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. Here they will gain relevant technical experience for a duration of 24 months. This is in line with their contractual obligation to the department. Also in accordance with the DPSA regulated internship period,” Zikalala said.
R177, 500 per student budgeted
The estimated budget per student is R177, 500. This amount varies based on the institution and study programme. The department has allocated a budget of R17, 800 000 for the 2024 academic year’s new intake.
The bursary covers all university costs. These include tuition fees, accommodation, meals, textbooks, projects, excursions and a monthly allowance.