SA Taxi Foundation has launched its teaching bursary fund by awarding funds to two students entering their second year of teaching at the Wits College of Education.
SA Taxi Foundation is the corporate social investment arm of SA Taxi, South Africa’s only independent financer of minibus taxis and one of the country’s few certified developmental credit providers.
In awarding the bursaries, SA Taxi Foundation asked the university, as part of its selection process, to give priority to candidates recommended by taxi operators.
Wits made the final selection of Samkelo Thokwana, whose uncle is a taxi driver, and Sinegugu Ngobese, whose brother works in the taxi industry.
“Our social investment strategy emphasises education because it is the basis of all transformation and development,” says SA Taxi, Queeneth Brown, SA Taxi Foundation Co-ordinator.
“It also has an unlimited multiplier effect, in that one teacher empowers and educates thousands of students over his or her career. And, of course, those students ultimately influence the education of their children, and so on.
“We therefore believe that helping to educate educators makes an ongoing, sustainable contribution to the country’s future. It’s a powerful way for a small company like ours to make a significant, lasting difference to the communities we serve.”
For Thokwana, who grew up in Daveyton and attended school in Benoni, the bursary goes beyond providing him with the qualifications for a stable job. “Teaching is more than a paycheck. It affords me the opportunity to change lives for the better – and I don’t even have to be wealthy to do that. I can play a vital role in shaping the minds of future leaders.
“The bursary also gives me peace of mind in terms of my studying. I don’t have to worry about whether I will be able to afford the last three years of the course.”
Ngobese, from Nqutu in rural KwaZulu-Natal, obtained a university pass for matric in spite of having to study many of her school subjects on her own because of a lack of teachers in her area. She intends becoming a science teacher.
“The SA Taxi Foundation bursary enables me to be an example to other rural learners, proving that anything is possible if you put your mind and heart into it,” she says. “I am also grateful to the taxi association in our area for having faith in my ability to achieve good results.”