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Corporates, SRC raise funds for students

- By Wits University

Following on the shortage of funds from the National Students’ Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for 2015, Wits University appealed to all sectors of society to contribute towards funding some academically excellent, talented students at Wits. About R 780 000 has been raised in the last 10 days for this purpose. 

Law firm Nortons Incorporated was the first to take up the challenge, pledging to cover the registration fees for 10 law students in the sum of approximately R100 000. In addition, through an appeal to various members of the Johannesburg, Cape and Durban Bars, Nortons Incorporated secured donations from a number of individual advocates amounting to a further R260 000.  "We saw that this would be a way to make a tangible difference in the lives of these young students and would like to thank the advocates whom we approached and who gave generously in order to ensure that these students are able to continue with their studies," says Anthony Norton, the Managing Partner of Nortons Incorporated.

The Oppenheimer Family Trust also pledged an amount of R 120 000. The South African Property Owners Association has also indicated that it will support five Property Studies students this year. 

Prof. Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University adds: “The University is immensely grateful for this support which will go a long way towards investing in the brightest minds in our country. The challenge is now for other corporates and sectors of society to further invest in our talented student body.”    

The Wits Students’ Representative Council (SRC) has also initiated the “R 1 million, 1 month campaign” , part of the Wits SRC’s Humanitarian Fund, to raise funds for students who cannot be supported due to the NSFAS shortage, with Wits alumnus George Bizos serving as its patron. 

“The campaign aims to raise R 1 million to support students affected by the funding shortage,” says Shaeera Kalla, Deputy President of the Wits SRC. “We have already raised about R 300 000 in funding from individuals, Wits staff members, students and other donors.  We are appealing to registered students, staff, alumni and the public to contribute to this campaign – every rand counts.”

The Fund is endorsed by Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Adam Habib and Dr Randall Carolissen, Chairperson of the Wits Council.

Members of the public can make a tax deductible donation safely via www.witsfoundation.co.za/NSFAS-SRC.asp

“According to the Ministerial Committee on the Funding of Universities, Wits has consistently awarded the most number of bursaries and scholarships in the country to its students. “Wits administered about R 828 million in student funding in 2014, which it obtained from various internal and external sources including NSFAS, bursaries, scholarships, governments and the private sector,” adds Habib. “We are indeed grateful for the support of the private sector that continues to fund many projects at Wits. We also laud the efforts of the SRC who have taken it upon themselves to support their fellow students.” 

To arrange for media interviews, please contact Buhle Zuma, Wits Communications Officer on (011) 717 1018 or email buhle.zuma@wits.ac.za

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