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UKZN Hosts SA Professional Provident Society Foundation

From left: Mr Pierre Pillay, Mrs Subashini Gounder, Ms Fanelesibonge Mkhize, Ms Masenyane Molefe, Ms Nondumiso Gumede, Professor Suvira Ramlall and Mr Steve Camp

Representatives of the Professional Provident Society (PPS) of South Africa Foundation and the UKZN Foundation gathered on the University’s Howard College campus to extend their partnership and celebrate PPS postgraduate bursaries being awarded to medical students.

The PPS Foundation was established in 2016, to improve access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields for students. They also contribute to the sustainable development of South African communities.

PPS Group Executive Trustee and Group Executive: HR, Ms Masenyane Molefe, gave a brief presentation on her organisation which has been in existence for more than 80 years. Molefe said the Foundation’s bursary and university support programme led to the collaboration with UKZN. ‘The PPS bursary is a holistic bursary that covers students for tuition fees, residence accommodation, meals and laptops. The Foundation is currently funding IT and medical students.’

One of the students was Ms Fanelesibonge Mkhize, a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) candidate. ‘I didn’t know much about PPS until my roommate at residence, who is a recipient of one of their bursaries, suggested I approach the society,’ said Mkhize. ‘After having applied unsuccessfully for a bursary from several other sources I was surprised and elated when I got a response from PPS!’

Commenting on the funding, Mkhize, who holds a cum laude Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree, said: ‘It has helped me so much because otherwise I would have been stressing about books and fees as it not easy to get a bursary when you already have a degree. I’m happy to be part of the UKZN community and grateful to my sponsors – because of them, I have no (student) debt which makes life so much easier and less stressful, allowing me to concentrate on my work.’

Professor Suvira Ramlall of UKZN’s Psychiatry Discipline and President of the College of Psychiatrists (CMSA) thanked PPS on behalf of the Medical School. ‘I am so glad you have shifted beyond giving hand-outs. We really appreciate these partnerships,’ said Ramlall.


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