/ 30 June 2024

Transforming lives: The impact of quality education in South Africa

Mrs Mabuza 2
Charmaine Mabuza, ITHUBA CEO.

Since 1999, ITHUBA’s Scholarship programme has supported more than 300 young South Africans in pursuing tertiary education

As we conclude Youth Month, I am proud to reaffirm ITHUBA’s unwavering commitment to empowering the youth of South Africa through education. In the face of high unemployment and the escalating challenges hindering youth access to education and self-determination, ITHUBA stands as an ally in South Africa’s objective of  achieving  equality and excellence in education.

Every year we grant full bursaries to deserving matriculants, paving the way for their journey into tertiary education. These students are selected for their academic merit, with a special focus on students who require the additional support to join our ITHUBA scholarship program and experience the transformative impact of comprehensive funding for their educational pursuits and needs.

This initiative resonates deeply with the core vision of ITHUBA for a brighter and more inclusive South Africa. Education stands as a critical indicator on the Global Youth Development Index (YDI), profoundly shaping the future prospects of young individuals in South Africa and globally. The quality of education received by our youth is a pivotal factor in determining their success and their ability to make a positive impact on their communities.

While the latest report from the YDI reflects a global improvement in education rates, with more youth completing their basic education, the demand for tertiary education in South Africa is on the rise. This underscores the critical need for increased funding for tertiary education, a need that ITHUBA has embraced and will continue to address through our comprehensive scholarship programme. Our commitment extends beyond tuition fees to encompass educational support, student accommodation, supplies, tools, devices, and a monthly allowance, ensuring that our students have the resources they need to thrive.

South Africa grapples with one of the highest rates of economic inequality, with a Gini coefficient of 0.67, significantly impacting access to education, particularly at the tertiary level, where financial barriers loom large. I reaffirm the pivotal role of education in addressing these disparities and in building a more equitable South Africa. At ITHUBA, we firmly believe that education is a critical catalyst for economic transformation, and access to education is a collective responsibility that all South Africans must embrace.

The ITHUBA Scholarship programme stands as a cornerstone of our initiatives aimed at bridging the economic divide and fostering a brighter future for South Africa’s youth. Since its inception in 1999, our Scholarship programme has supported over 300 young South Africans in pursuing their education at some of the country’s most esteemed universities, with the aim of not only transforming their own lives but also making a positive impact on their families and communities.

In my reflections, I am reminded of the profound words of Nelson Mandela, who famously said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I encourage the business community to pay it forward, in supporting young future leaders who yearn for a better education and to help them attain the prosperous futures they aspire to.

Charmaine Mabuza is CEO of ITHUBA