University of South Africa: Tega Industries donates R825 000 towards student debt relief at Unisa

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Tega Industries donates R825 000 towards student debt relief at Unisa

As part of their corporate social responsibility efforts, Tega Industries approached the university through the Unisa Foundation to donate funds towards the relief of students’ historic debt. Frankie Mojapelo, Acting Director of the Unisa Foundation and Alumni Relations, said the donation would support Unisa’s student debt campaign. He added: “344 students will benefit from the donation; 99% of the beneficiaries are from previously marginalised communities. These students have completed their qualifications but cannot graduate and progress further in their studies due to financial constraints.”

From left: Sibusiso Mashinini, Unisa Directorate of Student Funding (DSF); Molemane Lesabe, Unisa DSF; Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor (VC); Adv Oupa Mabusela, Office of the VC; Khanya Mahlare, Executive Director of Unisa Institutional Advancement; Vishal Gautam, CEO of Tega Industries Africa; Frankie Mojapelo, Acting Director of Unisa Foundation and Alumni Relations; Charles Serote, Tega Industries Africa HR Manager; and Bhanu Sharma, Tega Industries Global President

Like other higher education institutions in South Africa, Unisa has accumulated student debt over the past decades. Over R830 million of the historic debt arises from students who do not have the financial means to pay their outstanding fees.

Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Unisa, said that the university is genuinely appreciative not only of the financial donation but also of the opportunity of a partnership with Tega. “The beginning of any relationship is spawned by aspirations to make an indelible mark in the global systems. I appreciate the diverse business Tega Industries has, which are similar to what we have at the university,” she said.

The partnership will go beyond student debt relief
Bhanu Sharma, Global President of Tega Industries, accompanied by Vishal Gautam, CEO of Tega Industries Africa, and Charles Serote, its HR Manager in Africa, said that giving money is the easiest and the least impactful act. He added: “The most impactful is to engage in getting people trained and reskill the levels that require change, especially in mining, robotics and mechatronics.” Some areas for consideration include research support and work placements. Moreover, Sharma said: “Tega would like to engage in students’ exposure to the corporate environment. We have experts to give lectures and do community work.” After welcoming the suggestion, LenkaBula said Unisa is open to a stronger, impactful, and globally renowned partnership.