Fund to help fees fall

There will be 24 art pieces on auction and 16 pieces for sale can be viewed before the event.

The golf day will follow on Thursday March 17 at the Rondebosch Golf Course. All proceeds of both events will go to the trust.

Greeff Properties and Leonardo Da Vinci Art Gallery have joined forces with the trust and are supporting the art auction.

Mr Manuel urged private companies and individuals to rally behind the trust and other community organisations who were helping young people to realise their dreams.

The trust was established by Mr Manuel in 2010 when he was a Member of Parliament deployed by the ANC to its Mitchell’s Plain Constituency Office. The trust is a South African registered public benefit organisation in terms of both section 30 and 18A of the Income Tax Act.

It aims to assist young people from Mitchell’s Plain to study at universities, technikons and colleges.

He said the trust aims to award one bursary per high school, preferably the top pupils. There are 17 high schools in Mitchell’s Plain.

“We work closely with the schools and governing bodies to identify the most deserving pupils. Our country’s youth have immense potential, but for them to realise their dreams we need a bigger push to support those who triumph against considerable odds to make it into the classes of universities, technikons and colleges.

“Education is one of the critical factors in changing the society in which we live and ensuring that young people from poor communities are able to study at tertiary institutions will go a long way toward building the South Africa that so many people sacrificed and died for.”

He added that the trust is working hard to make it possible for deserving matriculants and students to pursue their dreams.

In 2015 the trust awarded more than R1 million in bursaries, covering tuition and registration fees to 82 matriculants and current students.

Takalani Yolanda Tshililo, 20, from MontClair is a final year Bachelor of Social Sciences student at the University of Cape Town. She attended Glendale High School, in Rocklands, and matriculated in 2012.

Takalani said the trust helped her to fulfil her dream of studying at UCT as she could not afford the necessary fees.

“It was a blessing and I am very grateful for the bursary. I no longer stress about my finances, which allows me to focus on my academic work without any distraction. The financial assistance has gotten me this far, and it motivates me to work even harder,” she said.

Juanita Plaatjies, 19, from Lentegeur is a second year public relations student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She attended Cedar High School in Rocklands and matriculated in 2014. “I enjoy my studies because it is something I am passionate about. I have received great support from the trust and appreciate it. Member of the trust and former Beacon Hill High matriculant, Jeremy Michaels, is my mentor and has been really amazing,” she said.

In the 2015 academic year Mitchell’s Plain high schools registered an 85% average pass rate, compared to 76% in 2014.

Mr Manuel said this shows what is possible in spite of the considerable odds which pupils from Mitchell’s Plain encounter on a daily basis, including gang wars, poverty and high crime levels in their communities.

In the 2014 academic year, for the first time in Mitchell’s Plain’s history, Spine Road High School in Rocklands achieved a 100% matric pass rate and Glendale High School pupil Jayson George matriculated with eight distinctions.

Member of the trust and an ANC member of the provincial legislature, Cameron Dugmore, who is also a former MEC for Education in the Western Cape, said recipients are given tasks to fulfil in their communities.

He said they have to speak at their former schools at least once a year, to motivate others to follow in their footsteps, they have to establish an alumni association at their school where none exists or strengthen the existing one and initiate a tutoring programme at their school with the support of NGOs working in the sector.

Mike Greeff, the founder of Greeff Properties and key sponsor of the art auction, said his company was proud to be assisting the trust in its fundraising drive. “Arts and culture are at the very heart of the Mother City and to be nurturing emerging talent is an honour and a delight for Greeff Properties. It is an honour to be able to assist Mr Manuel and the Mitchell’s Plain Bursary and Role Model Trust.”

Catherine Timotei, owner of the Leonardo Da Vinci Art Gallery, said the auction was a unique way for art collectors to support the trust and its bursary recipients from Mitchell’s Plain.

“Art is an extraordinary vehicle for young people to express themselves and with the life experience of youth who are growing up in Mitchell’s Plain, there is great potential for them to develop artistic skills.

“At the same time, it really is rewarding to be able to help raise funds for the Mitchell’s Plain Bursary and Role Model Trust through an art auction which will ultimately benefit students from the area,” she said.

* For more information on the trust, visit www.mpbursarytrust.org.za, or contact Jeremy Michaels on 082 939 4812 or email info@mpbursarytrust .org.za

Companies and individuals alike can help, either by supporting the fundraising events or by donating to the trust via its website www.mpbursarytrust.org.za