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A boost for student food programme

- Wits University

Wits alumni have donated a quarter of a million rand to the Wits Food Programme.

Wits alumni have donated a quarter of a million rand to the Wits Food Programme, which caters for student threatened by food insecurity due to disadvantaged backgrounds.

Wits alumni, through the South African Student Solidarity Foundation for Education (SASSFE), have raised and donated R250 000 for the Masidleni Daily Meal Project at the University. Masidleni means let’s eat in isiZulu.

The Masidleni Daily Meal Project supports hundreds of students with a hot, nutritional lunch from Monday to Friday every week. This project falls under the Division of Student Affairs and is run by Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO). 

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, Chairperson of SASSFE’s Board of Trustees, says, “Our objective is to bolster and strengthen programmes at Wits which aim to provide students in need with the kind of dignified and caring environment so necessary for students’ academic success.”

“SASSFE has focussed on mobilising funds from alumni in order to show solidarity with, and to find ways of materially supporting, the current generation of students. We have found that many alumni are keen to assist the thousands of students in need at South Africa’s tertiary education institutions. The older generation is very keen to lend a hand, as they have seen the transformative power that access to good quality higher education has had in their lives,” continues Makgoba. 

SASSFE was set up in April 2016 with its first chapter based at Wits University. The Foundation has plans to expand its activities nationally. It envisages that SASSFE chapters, made up of and driven by alumni, will be established at many other tertiary education institutions around South Africa.

In addition to Makgoba, SASSFE’s trustees are retired Judge Richard Goldstone, Judge Azhar Cachalia, and Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng. Tiego Moseneke chairs the SASSFE Management Committee.

“We are making a clarion call for alumni across South Africa to dig into their pockets and make a contribution.  Small, regular contributions by a large number of alumni will make a big difference to the lives of bright young minds, who require support. Through our contributions we can provide students with basic, yet essential, needs that will allow them to fulfill their dreams for the future,” says Moseneke.

Contact SASSFE or donate at

About Student Food Programmes at Wits

Wits University through the Division of Student Affairs, and in particular, the Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO) has several programmes across its campuses aimed at combating student hunger and assisting students with basic hygiene needs.

The Wits Food Programme consists of two key projects which ensure that students receive support. A student’s circumstances have to be assessed to be added to these projects.

Established in 2013, the Wits Food Bank provides non-perishable food packs to students. The packs consists of starch, protein, and dried and canned vegetables. Depending on the availability, the Food Bank also provides toiletries and stationery to students. 

The Masidleni project was established in 2016 and provides a nutritious hot meal to more than 800 students.

The University is able to provide this service through its own limited resources and the contribution of individuals, alumni and corporate donors.