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UKZN Gets R20m to Help Provide Debt Relief for Students

UKZN has been given R20 million by the Moses Kotane Institute (MKI) to assist in providing debt relief for students.

Together here are (from left) Acting Executive Director UKZN Foundation Mr Steve Camp; Executive Director of UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division Ms Normah Zondo; Acting CEO of the Moses Kotane Institute, Adv Thembelihle Mapipa and Client Relations Manager KZN merSETA, Mr Chris Mapu. Photographer: Albert Hirasen

The cash injection came from MKI and the newly established merSETA Skills Development Fund which helps ease the problems of skills gaps and the student debt burden within KwaZulu-Natal.

Various other higher education institutions, including the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), Durban University of Technology (DUT), and the University of Zululand (UNIZULU), will also benefit.

The debt relief assistance is a beacon of hope, particularly for students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, helping alleviate financial constraints and open doors to brighter futures.

merSETA is committed to enhancing workforce employability, fostering economic growth, and promoting social inclusivity and equity. The merSETA Skills Development Fund, championed by MKI, reflects a collective ambition to close the skills gap as well as upskill and reskill individuals - a crucial component of the economic reconstruction and recovery plan.

The initiative not only holds the potential to drive KwaZulu-Natal’s economic resurgence but also promises sustainable growth in the long run.

Commenting on the funding, Acting Executive Director of the UKZN Foundation Mr Steve Camp said: ‘Philanthropic support from UKZN partners such as the Moses Kotane Institute and merSETA lifts a weight from our students in tough economic times, freeing them to get into the job market, to lead healthy, joy-filled lives and find purpose in work, play, family and more. It is a gift beyond measure.’

Acting CEO of the Moses Kotane Institute, Ms Thembelihle Mapipa, emphasised the Institute's unwavering dedication to addressing challenges faced by students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. ‘Our focus over the years has been on making a significant contribution to improving the skills development of KZN’s younger generation. In approaching merSETA, we sought support to develop strategies that not only enhance employability and productivity but also contribute to economic growth and promote a more inclusive and equitable society,’ she said.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs Mr Siboniso Duma said he supported the initiative, recognising it as a testament to MKI's commitment to empowering the youth and fostering a stronger, more equitable society. ‘This programme is a significant step in the right direction for our province,’ said Duma.


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