The Sugar Industry Trust Fund for Education (SITFE) announced that eight bright youngsters who are this year’s bursary recipients. These SITFE beneficiaries will be studying at Cedara College of Agriculture and Owen Sitole College of Agriculture (OSCA) respectively. Students at the two agricultural tertiary institutions do not get funding from NSFAS. Despite the prevailing difficult economic climate, SITFE has decided to continue sponsoring these students.
“Despite their challenging personal circumstances, against all odds, the selected students have done well academically and are resilient in pursuit of attaining their goals. As SITFE, having realised their potential, we have decided to step in and avail the much-needed financial assistance to enable them to reach for the stars,” said SITFE Chairperson Tim Murray. He added: “This is the crème de la crème of aspiring agricultural professionals who are well on their way to making critical contributions to the sector and the economy of South Africa.”
The Trust Fund is continuously reassessing its projects and programmes in order to stay relevant to the particular needs of the education system. At the beginning of 2020, due to severe financial constraints, Trustees decided to reduce the bursaries from 41 to 8 on an annual basis. Another reason is the fact that current SITFE students meet the NSFAS funding criteria or requirements. It is also important to state that the decision of the Trustees is not permanent – it will be reviewed from time to time, taking into consideration issues such as the recovery of the economy and the return to financial normalcy.