Home FleetWatch 2024 bpSA donates R2.5m to help 100 students settle outstanding fees

bpSA donates R2.5m to help 100 students settle outstanding fees

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Investing in future brilliance – bpSA’s Taelo Mojapelo (left) and Professor Bismark Tyobeka.
Investing in future brilliance – bpSA’s Taelo Mojapelo (left) and Professor Bismark Tyobeka.

While South African citizens wait for their new Government of National Unity to begin delivering on promises made prior to the May 29 General Election, bp Southern Africa (bpSA) has set a unique example of ‘sticking to your word’ by donating R2.5m to 100 North-West University students to help them settle outstanding fees.

In response to a parliamentary question earlier this year, higher education minister Blade Nzimande said 56 627 students at North-West University had outstanding fees. 

In May 2024, FleetWatch reported that as part of its centenary commemorative initiatives, bpSA would “settles students’ outstanding university fees.” A month later, that promise has been delivered upon.

“While we acknowledge the need is great, we wanted to do our part to help some of these students into their next chapter. We have a long and proud relationship with South Africa, going back a century and we owe our longevity to the communities and customers of this country. This is another way we are giving back, enabling students to enter the working world with confidence,” says Taelo Mojapelo, CEO of bpSA.

Investing in STEM education

“Over the last decade, we’ve been investing heavily in education, both within bpSA and for beneficiaries outside of bp. When we founded the Energy Mobility Education Trust (EMET) 10 years ago, the aim was to change the lives of young black South Africans and create a good pipeline of future skills across a broad range of disciplines, but particularly in maths and science.  Since 2014, the Trust has invested approximately R247 million to benefit 3 754 young people through STEM education and skills development,” she adds.

EMET’s focus is on developing skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with particular focus on nurturing black learners and students from underserved areas in South Africa.

Professor Bismark Tyobeka, vice chancellor of North-West University, says many highly talented students face a tragic shortfall in funding, which needs to be addressed urgently.

“We are thankful for bpSA’s commitment to social and economic development in South Africa and I am confident that you (bpSA) can benefit from the innovative research and skilled graduates that North-West University produces, which can lead to potential collaborations in various fields such as engineering, environmental sciences, law and accounting, to mention just a few. As we celebrate our 20 years of existence, we hope that you will open your doors for our students to engage with industry leaders, gain practical experience and contribute to solving real-world challenges.”

Ntokozo Radebe, one of the 100 recipients of the bursary, says: “I want to thank you for being one of the chosen ones to have their debt settled by bpSA. I am extremely appreciative of your efforts.”

FleetWatch also wants to thank bpSA for ‘staying true’ in an era where genuine philanthropy is rare and leadership positions are compromised by self-interest and obfuscation. Also, our heart-felt admiration extends to all students in South Africa who have ‘hung in there’ during the last four really tough years. Keep up the inspiring work!

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