By Asiphe Nombewu
As a means of providing funding to black chartered accountants in South Africa, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Thuthuka Bursary Fund, formerly known as the Institute of Accountants and Auditors, was created. SAICA is rated among the top accountancy bodies in the country.
Benefiting from the Thuthuka Bursary Fund are two Bachelor of Accounting students, Bradley Tito and Curtley Olyn. Both are studying at Stellenbosch University.
The Bursary Fund has assisted many struggling students in the past and helped them complete their studies to be able to achieve their dream of becoming chartered accountants.
Curtley Olyn, a 20-year-old from Campbell in the Northern Cape, says he is excited about doing his BAccounting honours in 2019 and articles thereafter.
Curtley says he learnt of the bursary fund through a representative of SAICA who once visited the school he was attending, the Douglas High School.
He continues: “The representative gave a talk in which he made mention of the bursary. In matric, a year later, a friend of mine who attended the University of Johannesburg (UJ), brought me an application form and I applied to be accepted at Stellenbosch. Initially I was informed that my application was unsuccessful because, at the time I I didn’t comply with the requirements. However, a few months later one of the coordinators of the Thuthuka Bursary Fund here at Stellenbosch advised me to apply for the bursary again and this time I was accepted.”
Curtley says ever since he heard of the Institute, he has had his eyes sights set on obtaining the bursary and studying towards becoming a chartered accountant, because he knew his mother would not have been able to cover the costs of him attending university.
He added: “The bursary is unique in that it does not only give us money to finance our studies, but it also lends us academic support and opportunities to develop leadership skills, to do community service and to socialise with other people who are also holders of the bursary. This has really helped me during my time here at Stellenbosch University.,”
Curtley says his mentor truly believes in him and really inspires him to do the very best he can academically. He has taken a decision to do his utmost towards passing the degree cum laude. He has been on the bursary now for three years and it will also finance his honours degree.
The second recipient of the Thuthuka Bursary Fund who hopes to be graduating, is 21-year-old Bradley Tito from Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town.
Bradley says before his aunt told his parents about the bursary, they were considering taking a loan to finance his education
He says: “This would’ve placed an enormous financial strain on them. The fact that I received the Thuthuka Bursary meant that there was no need for my parents to incur any debt to fund my studies as the bursary covers all the necessary costs.”
He adds:” My biggest highlight at SU so far has been meeting people from different walks of life. They have really been an inspiration to me as they have made me aware of all of the hardships that our society as a whole has been facing. They made me realise that we are often so caught up in our own bubble, thinking that our problems are the only ones that matter, when in fact there are much larger problems out there that require all of our attention.”
In 2019, Bradley hopes to complete his honours degree in Accounting after which he will do his articles which comprise three years of training – during this period he will write two board exams and, if successful, he will be eligible to register as a chartered accountant.
Source: This article was written for Stellenbosch University and originally appeared on their website.