By Modupe Gbadeyanka
About $2.43 million (R30 million) has been given to 60 students from the Mpumalanga province in South Africa.
The amount was given in bursaries by GE Power in collaboration with Eskom and will run for a period of four years, covering accommodation costs, books and a living stipend with Eskom also giving laptops to each of the bursary recipients.
The 60 students, who are from Ehlanzeni, Gert Sibande and Nkangala district respectively, will study at more than 10 higher learning institutions across the country.
Commenting on the development, General Manager of GE Steam Power in Sub-Saharan Africa, Lee Dawes, stated that, “GE’s Steam Power business believes firmly in supporting the South African government’s commitment to skills development and we are proud to be a key participant of this initiative.
“We understand the importance of ensuring that the future generation of engineers, technicians and scientists have access to the training and support that they need to develop and contribute to the development of the country.”
Also speaking, GE Steam Power Project Director at Kusile Power Plant, Ms Nthabiseng Kubheka, stressed that, “The future of the African continent is reliant on skills especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and these bursaries will ensure great progression of empowering the youth of Mpumalanga,” adding that, “This initiative is one of many programs that GE’s Steam Power business is implementing to empower the youth with skills especially in communities where we work” she added.
Executive Mayor of the Nkangala District, Cllr Linah Malatjie, also said, “We commend you for a job well done and encourage you to maintain your spirit of hard work, dedication and commitment. We are planting a seed towards ensuring an improved level of the graduate professional base in the district. We will achieve this through ensuring that education remains at the apex of our priorities in moving our district forward, and this bursary initiative reflects this commitment.”
GE Power’s Steam Power business and the South African government, through the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative South Africa (Asgi SA), have collaborated to establish a graduate development programme with 155 trainees in various fields of engineering in both Kusile and Medupi Projects and was awarded the Best Training Programme (Large Company) at the recently held Skills Development Summit in Johannesburg.
GE’s Steam Power is committed to supporting South Africa’s power development priorities and building the next generation of South African engineers in the local communities where it operates.
Eskom is a utility power company operating in South Africa.
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