Bursaries for Giyani

MINISTER of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande yesterday put a smile on the faces of Giyani pupils when he offered 67 full bursaries to the top learners in the area.

Speaking at the Letaba FET College Giyani campus yesterday, Nzimande, pictured, said the bursaries were aimed at honouring former president Nelson Mandela's commitment to education.

He said the department was trying to make it easy for learners from poor backgrounds to get an education.

"Tell yourself you can do it and you will do it," he said to Grade 12 learners.

He also urged them to make career choices.

Nzimande said the high failure rate is the result of a lack of proper career guidance.

Minister for Public Service and Administration Richard Baloyi is from the area.

He told learners that despite his humble background he had gone far in life.

"I was born in Shawela Block 23 outside Giyani, and grew up the hard way, but I did not allow the odds to limit me," Baloyi said.

He said learners should draw inspiration from Mandela, who is also from a rural area.

Other dignitaries who attended were Limpopo MEC Dickson Masemola and Higher Education and Training Director-General Mary Metcalfe.

Some public personalities in attendance included Tiny Mhinga, who is a member of the Mhinga Royal Family, Muvhango actor Gabriel Temudzani and South African Medical Association chairperson Kgosi Letlape.

Temudzani urged pupils to be disciplined, saying the apartheid regime was not good but had been good in instilling discipline.

"Discipline will take precedence over what we do," he said.