Four Grade 12 learners whose studies at Simon’s Town School’s Lawhill Maritime Centre were sponsored by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), have been recognised for their performance in 2018. Buhlebuzile Majola, Ndumiso Ngcobo, Mihle Tshangana and Duduzile Mlaba were among the centre’s achievers who were honoured for their academic and extracurricular performance at the centre’s recent Annual Awards evening.
The four are among 15 TNPA bursary holders at Lawhill this year from Grades 10 to 12. They received Maritime Studies Certificates, awarded for their achievements in Maritime Studies and Nautical Science – placing them amongst the top performers in the school, which is priming them for successful careers in the maritime industry.
TNPA’s top performing sponsored student, Duduzile Mlaba who is from Estcourt, Kwazulu Natal, has also been shortlisted for an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation bursary – and could be the first female student from Lawhill to be awarded this prestigious bursary when the results are announced in December.
Mlaba was recently selected for the Marine Inspirations trip to Spain but withdrew in order to attend the Allan Gray Bursary selection camp. She has a strong interest in the maritime industry and intends studying marine engineering.
Another of TNPA’s sponsored students, Sphamandla Mdlala of Durban was recently selected for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Turkey. The trip, organised and funded by international maritime mentoring organisation, Marine Inspirations included a tour of Kumport container terminal, visits to Istanbul’s historical landmarks and sailing along the shores of the Bosphoros with the iconic Istanbul Sailing Club.
The guest speaker at the event was Dr Iraj Abedian, who also handed out awards to the top performing students. He is one of South Africa’s top economists and also CEO of Pan-African Capital Holdings as well as Chairman of the AMSOL board of directors. In his speech Dr Abedian shared key factors of success from his own professional experiences, including “commitment to excellence, patience, (a set of) clear core values and commitment to ethical practice, and a conscious embrace of uncertainty with enthusiasm.”
TNPA has enjoyed a successful, long-running partnership with Simon’s Town School’s Lawhill Maritime Centre, providing essential financial support for deserving but disadvantaged young people, and allowing these students to venture into promising careers within the maritime industry.
The high school based maritime studies programme – a first for high schools in Africa – was pioneered in 1995 by shipping line Safmarine and Simon’s Town School. It provides students aged approximately 15 to 18 with specialised knowledge and skills in their last three years of secondary schooling, equipping young charges with the necessary maritime skills and knowledge to boost their prospects of post-school employment and career development.
TNPA’s investment in the centre’s students began in 2006. Each year, TNPA offers bursaries to a select number of Lawhill students. The financial aid covers tuition and boarding fees. TNPA will continue this tradition in 2019, sponsoring an additional four new students selected from the Authority’s Adopted Schools programme.
In order to be considered for the maritime studies programme, applicants must achieve a minimum 60 percent in mathematics, natural science and English in Grade 9. Students undergo an intensive interview procedure conducted by the institution.
TNPA’s full bursary scheme supports the human resources leg of Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy, which seeks to create and develop core skills that will drive performance and ensure that the State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) has adequate and skilled personnel to deliver on its strategic programmes in the ports.