The doors of learning were once again opened to 12 youth and 20 employees of Eden District Municipality (Eden DM), when a momentous handover of bursaries took place on 21 April 2017 at the Eden DM Head Office in George.
A total of R317 000 worth of bursaries (R147 586 to Eden DM employees and R169 414 to youth) were mobilised towards beneficiaries’ studies. Eden DM leaders have once again endorsed and supported this important initiative; an initiative that has a direct impact on economic transformation and empowerment of previously disadvantaged families. The reality is that conditions of poverty continues to affect the majority of South Africans and without frequent interventions by all three spheres of government, the less fortunate would lose hope.
Eden DM Municipal Manager, Mr Monde Stratu, shared some of his personal life experiences with beneficiaries, which included his family’s past economic struggle and him being the first in the family to graduate. “I told myself, I would not let our circumstances decide my life’s progress and outcome; I had to be the change that my family needed. I knew that there was a potential for me to achieve what I wanted to become.” Mr Stratu ended his speech by urging beneficiaries to dream big and to keep in mind that no one in life will help us if we do not want to help ourselves.
The Deputy Executive Mayor, Cllr Rosina Ruiters, who also chairs the Local Economic Development Committee, congratulated those who received bursaries because it proved to her they took their first step towards a qualification of their choice. Cllr Isaya Stemela, Portfolio Chairperson for Corporate Services, reminded beneficiaries that they have a bright future ahead of them, but that this could only be achieved by studying hard for excellent academic results.
Students were also given a breath of fresh air by Mr Clifford Sheldon, Eden DM Fleet Administrator, who is also a well-known transformational coach in the region. Mr Sheldon reminded beneficiaries that the power of success is within them. “You should be mindful of the habit of blaming yourself if your goals are not met at the time you anticipated it to be reached, because this notion gives away authority; authority that you are supposed to be in control of,” Mr Sheldon said.
The Human Resources unit requested Mr Simamkele Tinana, a recipient of one of the bursaries, to share a word of appreciation with those present. Mr Tinana shared a heartfelt message to Eden DM for being the enablers to his foot in the door at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. He promised that he would work hard to get distinctions for his studies in Economics and urged others to also focus on obtaining high grades.
The session ended on a high note when the Executive Manager of Corporate-/Strategic Services, Ms Trix Holtzhausen extended a word of appreciation to the HR unit who worked tirelessly to ensure that all the details of students were captured and that payments were arranged.