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Media Release

22 August, 2007

R5m Fund launched, bursaries for 25 tertiary, FET college students

Thanks to the Community Social Initiative of Grandwest, thousands of children have benefited from previous investments in special, pre-school and adult education, and computers, which means thousands of children now have access to opportunities they could previously only dream of.

So said Western Cape Education MEC Cameron Dugmore at a function last night where the company announced its R5m bursary fund, and presented the first 25 bursaries to students in the Futher Education and Training college sector or universities. The students are all enrolled in engineering, finance, environmental development or other scarce skills related courses.

Said MEC Dugmore: "In the thirteen years of our democracy, we have been able to bring about radical changes and reforms, and significantly so thanks to the support of business, like the Community Social Initiative of Grandwest, especially in this province.

"The more and more we implement interventions to undo the legacies of apartheid, the more it becomes clear to me how deep those legacies still run.

"For example, in terms of literacy and numeracy, our children do not perform on the levels required from them; too few learners from historically disadvantaged communities pass with exemption and with maths and science; more than 600 schools are still without halls; many require libraries and science labs; and our schools still battle against vandalism, crime and drugs.

"I am very pleased with the commitment of Grandwest to education in the Western Cape, and that you are now taking it to an even higher plateau, with the launch of your R5-million GrandWest CSI Bursary Fund for Maths, Science or Technology students at tertiary institutions in the province.

"This fund could not have come at a better time. We are all aware of the fact that the world will descend upon us in four years' time. In order to prepare for the Soccer World Cup, we have got to do some serious work in building infrastructure and technological networks.

"We need to produce at least 13,000 engineers per annum, and we need about half-a-million professionals in the Information Technology, finance and other critical sectors of the economy. Therefor, if we want to expand and sustain our economy, we need to produce even more learners passing maths, science and accountancy, and enrolling in the relevant courses at universities and FET colleges."

For full text, visit www.capegateway.gov.za/education

For enquiries, contact Gert Witbooi:  082 550 3938, or gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za.

Issued by:
Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689

Visit our website: http://wced.wcape.gov.za

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