Masakh’iSizwe Busary Programme empowers 96 students
On Saturday 20 May 2023, the Western Cape Provincial Minister of the Department of Infrastructure, Tertuis Simmers officiated at the Masakh’iSizwe Bursary Programme (MiS) bursary awards ceremony. He awarded 96 young people bursaries for the 2023 academic year. The new bursars were deeply honored to be accepted into the MiS Programme in their respective academic disciplines.
The group are pursuing their qualifications through the department’s partner institutions of higher education: the University of Stellenbosch, the University of Cape Town, and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The Masakh’iSizwe bursary programme aims to address the skills shortage in the transport, engineering, and built environment.
The bursary offers support for full-time studies towards a degree or diploma in the transport, engineering, and built environment disciplines, including:
- Construction Management
- Civil Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Quantity Surveying
- Town and Regional Planning
- Transport Economics
- Property Studies
Upon completion of their studies, some of the bursars will have an opportunity to be incubated in the department’s various branches while others further their studies on a full-time basis. Present at the ceremony was a previous beneficiary who is currently working in the department’s roads branch. Ms. Jamie Lee Stemmet said; “I am eternally grateful to the Masikh’iSizwe Bursary Programme. The programme changed my life for the better as it provided me with an opportunity to become the first university graduate in my family. Having received the bursary in 2019 and completed my studies in 2022. I have now been employed in the department since 1 March this year.”
“The mentorship programme within the department is helping me a great deal as I adjust into the professional sphere and work towards being a registered engineer” continued Stemmet.
Minister Simmers said: “This programme is part of the Department of Infrastructure’s efforts to ensure we build hope for our youth, by investing in their education. It allows us to not only support recipients from financially stricken backgrounds but also creates opportunities for the inclusion of female students into the sector. Many of our youths are faced with the challenge of unemployment which remains a concern for all. It is through initiatives such as the Masakh’iSizwe Bursary Programme that we can ensure that the future of the Western Cape is well secured.”
This event concluded what has been a week of delivering hope by the Infrastructure department. On Friday accompanied by Premier Alan Winde and President Cyril Ramaphosa, the trio handed over keys to a beautiful brand-new house to an elderly couple Mr. and Mrs. Buys at the Vlakkeland Project in Paarl. A project that has delivered 433 housing opportunities to beneficiaries that come from the following categories: backyard dwellers, elderly persons, and those living with disabilities. A further 320 houses will be built during the 2023/24 financial year.
Mrs. Buys overwhelmed with emotions said: “This is one of the highlights of my 72 years and I am grateful that my husband and I, will finally get to spend the last days of our lives in a fully secured house.”
Through its various branches and projects, the Department of Infrastructure and the Western Cape Government continue to deliver hope and change in the lives of the province’s citizens.