The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) this week handed over uniforms to two deserving scholars who will be heading to Cape Town to pursue maritime studies.
The maritime sector has been identified as a critical Eastern Cape developmental sector and is one of the key areas that the CDC has identified as strategic for contributing skills to the economy of the coastal region.
“The recipients of these uniforms come from poverty stricken areas. Archie Leeu (17) is from a farm near Uitenhage and attends a farm school (Rocklands Intermediate School) and Siyamthanda Vuyelwa (15) comes from Kwanobuhle and attends Uitenhage High School,” said Mpumezo Ndabeni, CDC maths and science manager.
“What makes these outstanding scholar’s efforts even more commendable is the hardships that they, together with their parents, had to endure. Archie had a difficult upbringing with both parents absent, delaying his progress at school. Siyamthanda was raised by an unemployed single parent and lives in low cost housing.”
Notwithstanding their hardships, and through the CDC’s assistance and hard work of the scholars, they were each awarded a South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) Lawhill Maritime Studies Bursary.
“The bursary pays for their tuition and accommodation fees at the Lawhill Maritime Centre, while they attend classes at Simon’s Town High School. Further to that, the CDC will pay their transportation costs to and from Cape Town when they have to come back home for recess,” said Thandi Rayi, CDC corporate social investment manager.
The uniforms handed over by CDC today are to kick start a normal schooling career in a new province. “We want to thank the parents for their hard work in raising these talented children and encouraging them to do well at school. This is a life changing experience and we hope they grab this opportunity with both hands,” said Adv. Zuko Mapoma, CDC executive manager.
“The selection process was thorough and demanded excellence from the students. They are the first to be part of this programme and we hope they set a good example to those that will follow after them,” added Zuko.
As a CDC CSI initiative, the maritime programme forms part of the organisation’s objectives to support projects that drive socio-economic growth and have an impact on the province.
“Our continuous commitment to the development of youth in our country is what drives the CDC. The organisation’s investment in youth development is deemed wise as it is more likely to positively change the landscape of the country that any other investment,” said Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications.