BEE deal to aid students

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

Historically disadvantaged students at the University of Johannesburg will receive bursaries after a R490 million broad-based BEE deal between the university and City Lodge Hotels Group

The university said tourism and hospitality students were among beneficiaries of the transaction.

At least 85 percent of the recipients must be black and half of those female, said Herman Esterhuizen, the university's coordinator of media relations.

This highly innovative and ground-breaking deal has resulted in the university's school of tourism and hospitality getting a 3percent stake in the hotel group as part of a wider BEE transaction involving 15 percent of the group's shares.

The STH will receive up to a 10 percent "trickle-down" dividend from the investment every year.

Hans Enderle, the hotel group's non-executive chairman, said the move follows a rigorous process that the company had gone through in developing a structure that empowers its employees and mainly black students who want to pursue careers in tourism and hospitality.

"Contributing to the education of black students in this sector is an investment in South Africa's future, while empowering and retaining our own black staff is also a key consideration for staff motivation and skills retention within the group," Enderle said.

"We explored creative ways to improve the group's BEE credentials and at the same time make a substantial contribution to skills development and retention."

Ihron van Rensburg, vice-chancellor of the university, said the institute was delighted to be involved in this innovative approach to BEE.

"It's encouraging to forge partnerships that contribute to the development of the industry it operates in."