18 youngsters get Trust scholarships


This year 18 deserving youngsters from Ekurhuleni will get the opportunity to start following their dreams of obtaining tertiary educations thanks to receiving all-expenses paid scholarships, valued at over R170 000 each, from either the Peermont Education Trust (PET) or the Peermont Community Benefit Trust (PCBT), two community social investment initiatives of Emperors Palace.

After a stringent selection and interview process 12 candidates were selected for the PET bursary “Class of 2024” while five applicants will receive funding from the PCBT this year. In addition, a member of the “Class of 2023” Kwa-Thema resident, Mandla Phantsi has had his scholarship extended which will enable him to tackle his fourth and final year BSc Civil Engineering degree studies at the University of Johannesburg, without any financial worries. Phantsi has been a bursary recipient of the PET since he started his studies in 2020.

Much to the delight of the new recipients they received their scholarship letters and education packs when they attended an induction function at the Palace of Dreams on Saturday morning, February 17.

First to get his letter was Malwande Nomnasi who matriculated with five distinctions from Alafang Secondary School in Katlehong last year and is off to the University of Johannesburg to study BEng Tech in Mechanical Engineering thanks to the Trust. A fellow Katlehong resident and product of Phumulani Secondary School (with five distinctions), Velaphe Melamo is off to Wits to study a Bachelor of Education in Senior Phase and FET degree.

Another Katlehong resident, Lifa Masina who finished his schooling at Bracken High School in 2021 and started studying BHS Podiatry at UJ (without financial assistance in 2022) proved he is a worthy bursary recipient after attaining eight distinctions during his second year at UJ and can now look forward to concentrating just on his studies in 2024 thanks to his PET all-expenses paid bursary.

Among the PET group are four recipients who hail from Vosloorus and are all heading to Wits, Boitumelo Phahlane, Diana Bingani, Kamohelo Tsotetsi and Sipho Kubheka. Phahlane, who attended Sunward Park High and passed Grade 12 with six distinctions is going to do a BSc Eng (Aeronautical) degree while Tsotetsi, who matriculated from Alafang Secondary School (with six distinctions) will do a degree in BSc Chemical Engineering. Former Vosloorus Comprehensive Secondary learner, Kubheka plans to put the four distinctions he obtained to good use and is going to study for a BSC Mechanical Engineering degree with former Thuto Lesedi Secondary School learner Bingani going to study for a BSc in Computer Science degree.

Brakpan’s Percy Sambo, boasting five distinctions in his final school exams at Dalpark Secondary School, will use his Trust bursary to study a Diploma in Accountancy at UJ while Samukelo Shezi who matriculated from Zimisele Secondary School in Kwa-Thema with two distinctions is also going into the accounting field and will do a BCom in Accounting, also at UJ.

Germiston resident, Bulelwa Masoka, who is also a product of Alafang Secondary School and achieved one distinction in her matric exams is going to do a BSc (Meteorology) degree at the University of Pretoria with Hoërskool Elsburg matriculant (one distinction) Khensani Khoza heading to Wits to study a BSc in Geology and Physics degree.

Rounding out the PET “Class of 2024” is Thembisa youngster, Kwanele Mangqishi who matriculated with four distinctions from Tutor Ndamase Senior Secondary School and is going to UJ to do a BEng Tech in Mining Engineering degree.

PCBT Scholarships

Among the five PCBT scholarship recipients are Boksburg residents and Oosrand Secondary School matriculants, Kateline Visser (two distinctions), Michaella De Klerk (two distinctions) and Sisipho Duku all of whom have their sights set on careers in the hospitality industry and will be funded to do a Bachelor of Hospitality Management degree at the Swiss Hotel School.

Joining them at the Swiss Hotel School in the same course are the remaining two PCBT bursars, Cefups Academy alumni, Faith Hartman of Clayville who achieved one distinction and Neo Mojapelo who is a product of the Tembisa Commerce and Entrepreneurship School of Specialisation where she obtained two distinctions.

Apart from having their tuition and accommodation expenses covered, getting their books and a laptop, the Trust also provides a comprehensive mentorship programme for scholarship recipients to enable them to cope and develop new skills during their time at university. The programme covers study skills, emotional intelligence and employability. Monthly mentorship meetings are also held with the students to ensure that they receive the much-needed socio-psychological support required to increase their chances of graduating.

Testament to the latter is the fact that the PET, under the umbrella of Emperors Palace, can look back in the resort and casino’s 25-year history and know that it has changed the immediate lives of over 150 bursary recipients who have gone on to graduate in various fields from chartered accounting to mechanical engineering and have been in a position to be gainfully employed or started their own businesses.

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