The CRET Award ceremony, held at the FNB Conference Centre in Sandton, celebrated outstanding students and top achievers who shone in their respective studies and those who had shown great improvement and exceptional contributions in the community.
This year's eight recipients were Kabelo Precious Monareng; Catherine Reynders; Kopano Nkoana; Rirhandzu Leonard Makamu; Koketso Mamogale; Bongani Mazibuko, Mmakwele Ntsoane and Mavis Mahlangu.
The coveted Student of the Year award was presented to Monareng who completed her Bachelor of Commerce studies at the University of Pretoria cum laude. Two students - Reynders and Nkoana - were recognised as the programme's Top Achievers in 2014.
Guests included Shanduka CEO Phuti Mahanyele and S'busiso Leope, popularly known as DJ Sbu, who is both a media personality and philanthropist who thrives on giving back to the community especially the youth of South Africa. Representatives from supporters and sponsors of the CRET programme - such as Adreach, Grindrod, Hewlett Packard and Scaw SA - were also in attendance.
STUDENT OF THE YEAR:
KABELO PRECIOUS MONARENG
Monareng was born in Phalaborwa in Limpopo and received a CRET bursary in 2012 to study B.Com Economics at the University of Pretoria. She has proven that difficult personal circumstances can be overcome with dedicated hard work and determination. Today, she is a proud B.Com graduate and was honoured with the Student of the Year award for her overall performance, leadership qualities and high impact projects that were successfully completed.
In 2013, Monareng organised a career exhibition for an underprivileged school in a rural area of Gauteng and was also in charge of Yes@tuks charity events on campus. She was elected the vice chairperson and sat on the executive board of the Economics Society and was a committee member of the Reach-out and Give (RAG) project on campus. Monareng also played a significant role in mentoring fellow CRET bursary students and was a guest speaker at the Shanduka Foundation 10th anniversary celebration. She will be studying towards her Honours in Economics at UP in 2015.
"I am an ambitious problem solver and an aspiring socialist with a dream to better the well-being of South Africans. I therefore want to pursue a career as a policy maker in the public sector particularly involved in driving investment in the economy with the aim of expediting economic growth," she says.
Reynders attained the CRET top achiever award for her outstanding undergraduate results in 2014, scoring 13 out of 13 distinctions.
She received a Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust bursary to pursue her Bachelors in Education degree (majoring in mathematics) at the University of Pretoria in 2014.
Despite losing her grandfather, who financially supported her education, Reynders excelled in her matric examinations with seven distinctions. She was accepted to study towards a degree in medicine in 2013, before delivering the news to her parents that her passion actually lay in mathematics and her dream was to teach others in this science. Reynders' dedication to contributing to the education landscape was brought to the attention of CRET who agreed to sponsor her studies.
During her spare time she teaches mathematics to local young girls: "Teaching has always been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember, and I wish to fulfill this passion so that I can be able to give the youth of South Africa the same opportunity I was given," she says.
Reynders also excelled at ballet and contemporary dancing during her high school.
Now a professional dancer - and one of the Blue Bulls dancing squad - she continues to show great determination and hard work towards her studies and community, traits that are recognised within the CRET bursary programme.
Nkoana's outstanding matric results secured him a place at the University of Witwaterand to study BSc Mechanical Engineering in 2013. Subsequently he was awarded a Scaw Metals bursary - which is administrated by the Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust.
Having been raised by a single mother in Tembisa, he never saw his circumstances as an "exceptional hardship or challenge" but instead an opportunity to shape his life through education and strive for the best possible future.
Nkoana scored seven distinctions in his second year of study.
In 2014, Nkoana was awarded the Golden Key International Honour Society certificate by the University of Witwatersrand for his academic excellence, which is regarded as the world's largest honour society. He was also awarded the Dean's List merit which honours the outstanding achievement of students who are placed in the top 10 percent of their respective degrees.
FULL LIST OF STUDENT AWARDS:
Student of the year:
Kabelo Precious Monareng - B.Com Economics (Cum laude)
Top Achievers award:
Catherine Reynders - B.Ed General
Kopano Nkoana - B.Sc Mechanical Engineering
Rirhandzu Leonard Makamu - B.Tech Industrial Engineering
Koketso Mamogale - B.Tech Extraction Metallurgy
Mmakwele Ntsoane - B.Tech Engineering Metallurgy
Mavis Mahlangu - B.Com Accounting
Kabelo Precious Monareng - B.Com Economics
Bongani Mazibuko - B.Com Accounting
ABOUT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA EDUCATION TRUST
The Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust (CRET) was established to provide bursaries each year to disadvantaged students, enabling them to continue their studies at any accredited South African tertiary institution.
The 2014 student intake was the largest to date. In addition to the 36 tertiary students registered for various disciplines at institutions throughout South Africa, CRET extended its support to eight learners from high schools in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. The learners, who are in grade 8 to 12, will receive similar support to that afforded to CRET students throughout their studies.
Besides covering the cost of all relevant tuition and accommodation fees, bursary students also receive ongoing, nurturing support and mentorship to ensure a greater chance of succeeding.
Students are also required to attend a holiday programme twice a year, where they have the opportunity to shadow Shanduka executives and business professionals to acquire practical experiences and undertake self-development and motivational opportunities.
Some 90 students have benefited from the programme to date and the exponential growth of the Trust is thanks to the support of a number of partners, such as Shanduka Group, Hewlett-Packard, Scaw and Grindrod, who are either utilising the bursary management offering provided by the CRET team or offering significant sponsorship to the programme.For more information on the Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust or Shanduka Foundation please contact:
Head of Communications and Project Development
Shanduka Foundation/Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust
Telephone: +27 11 305 8900