Eighteen 2020 matriculants are on their way to a career in the mining industry thanks to Impala’s hugely successful Bursary Programme for external candidates. This year also sees the addition of a brand-new bursary – The Future Women in Mining Bursary.
Impala’s investment in the 2021 intake of bursars over the next four years is R10 million, with the all-inclusive bursaries covering tuition, accommodation, books, and pocket money, as well as paid vacation work for many of the students. Second-year students receive laptops from the mine, and mentoring by Impala’s Bursary Department continues throughout the bursary period.
Mark Munroe, CE of Impala Rustenburg, congratulated the new intake of bursars and encouraged them to work hard to build strong and sustainable careers in the mining sector in years to come. He says the bursary programme, which has been running for over 20 years, has made a difference to many young lives in the local communities, creating opportunities for successful careers both at Impala and further afield in the mining industry.
Of the 18 successful bursars in 2021, 16 are from local mining communities. The seven men and 11 women were selected from 11 high schools in the Rustenburg area according to stringent criteria. They will be studying a wide range of disciplines, including mining, mechanical, chemical and electrical engineering, chemistry, geology, teaching, HR and accounting, at various universities, including Wits, Pretoria, University of Johannesburg, and North West University in Potchefstroom.
The first Future Women in Mining bursar is Dulcie Kagisho from Paardekraal who achieved an excellent matric pass at Sunrise View High School in 2020 and has been accepted into the Mechanical Engineering degree course at the University of Pretoria. Says Munroe, “It’s crucial for our mining industry to be more representative of our population and to encourage women to pursue the many opportunities available to them throughout the mining processes. We’re already proud of Dulcie’s determination to become a great mechanical engineer, and we wish her well throughout the tough course she has undertaken. We believe that Dulcie, as well as our 11 other women bursars and any other future Women in Mining graduates, will encourage many more women to work hard to achieve good matric results to be able to embark on an exciting career in the mining industry.” The selection of a candidate for the Future Women in Mining Bursary will take place in the local community every year.
Munroe adds that youth development is a key priority for Impala, and the company provides a number of programmes that assist youth to further their careers, which include the robust bursary programme that is contributing to the number of skilled graduates in the country’s mining community; the Cadet programme that develops critical mining skills among unemployed youth within the local communities to increase their opportunities to find employment in the mining sector; a comprehensive Enterprise and Supplier Development programme; wide-ranging support for local schools; and more.