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1Million1Month - more needed

- By Buhle Zuma

 The campaign to raise funds for cash strapped students continues and more  funds are needed.

Wits University and the Wits Students’ Representative Council (SRC) have collectively raised over R1 million to assist the students from poor families who have not been granted funds for studies by the National Students’ Financial Aid Scheme.   

The latest donation of R553 000 comes from an individual donor. Moved by the plight of the students and the initiative of the students, Ms Basetsana Thokoane made her contribution to Wits today. Ms Thokoane, in a letter to Wits University and the SRC President, Mcebo Dlamini, expressed solidarity with the students - she too, was a beneficiary of the kindness of others.

“My background is similar to all of you – I was educated by the ANC in exile, a proud graduate of Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Tanzania, various universities and colleges in the UK through ANC scholarships and support. People of these countries and many more did so much for us. I will always make sure that young people who work hard are supported to achieve their dreams as so many did with me.”

The major donation brings to over a million the funds donated by individuals, the corporate sector, Wits staff and students and trusts and foundations which will secure the future of over 2000 students.

“The trick is now to sustain the momentum and to continue to raise funds to support these needy students throughout the year,” says Peter Bezuidenhoudt, Director of the Wits Development and Fundraising Office.

Some of the major donors for this campaign are: Law firm Norton’s Incorporated (R100 000), individual members of the bar (R260 000), the Oppenheimer Family Trust (R120 000), Wits Deans and Senior Executive staff (R250 000) and others.

“The outpouring of support from Wits staff and students, the public and South Africans has been phenomenal,” says Dlamini. The campaign is ongoing and will continue through the year.

In Parliament today, President Jacob Zuma in his reply to the State of the Nation Address complimented the Wits SRC’s effort.

Donations can be made online via or via EFT:

Account name: Wits Foundation
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch code: 00 48 05
Account type: Business Current Account
Account no: 002 900 076
SWIFT code: SB-ZAZ-AJJ-480502 
Reference: NSFAS/SRC InitialSurname

Alternatively, pledges can be made with Benji Seitlhamo on (011) 717-9707 or email

For interviews contact or (011) 717-1018