Three students have won Elegant Fuel bursaries collectively valued at R270 000 to cover their studies for 2019.

Musawenkosi Vilakazi, of Soweto, who will be studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting degree at the University of Johannesburg, was “excited and emotional” upon hearing the news of his bursary win, as his parents had been struggling to meet the cost of his tuition fees.

Musa Vilakazi
Musawenkosi Vilakazi

“I would like to commend Elegant Fuel on their bursary initiative and encourage them to keep funding students like myself. There are many people my age out there who have the potential to change the country for the better, but they do not have access to money for studies,” says Vilakazi.

Given Mahlangu of Mpumalanga has set his sights on a career in electrical engineering “at a large firm like Eskom”. He will be studying towards a degree in electrical engineering at the University of Pretoria.

Says Mahlangu, “This bursary will help me a lot. I can now focus on my studies without worrying about how I will pay for accommodation or food. It will enable me to excel academically.”

Ready for the challenges of chemical engineering studies at the University of Pretoria, Bongani Lunga, of Roodekop, says he is very grateful for being awarded a bursary. His message to Elegant Fuel: “I will make you proud and your money won’t go to waste.”

The all-inclusive bursaries were made available to students enrolled in the fields of engineering, accounting and marketing, for undergraduate or postgraduate studies, in a competition run on Elegant Fuel’s social media pages during December.

According to Elegant Group director Ryno Strydom, the bursary initiative arose after Elegant Fuel identified a gap in the existing tertiary education bursary offering.

Bongani Lunga
Bongani Lunga

“Some students have an incredible work ethic, but because they are not straight ‘A’ students, they seldom qualify for bursaries,” he says. “But Elegant believes that people shine in various ways, which should be embraced.”

Students accepted by an accredited South African tertiary academic institution who required financial assistance could nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else. More than 200 nominations were received, with each nominee having to motivate why they deserved an Elegant Fuel study bursary.

Nominated by his high-school friend Richard, Lunga was described as a “super-intelligent student who works to his full potential and produces good quality results”.

Apart from his outstanding academic results at Highlands North Boys’ High School, Lunga also demonstrated exceptional leadership ability as deputy president of the school, president of the Interact Club and secretary of the Colamba Leadership group. He also showed his sports prowess as a member of the school’s 1st rugby and cricket sides.

Given Mahlangu
Given Mahlangu

Thoko Mahlangu, mother of Given Mahlangu, nominated her son for a bursary. “He battled with poor results in 2017, but worked hard to achieve good grades in 2018. For all the hard work he puts in, Given deserves a bursary that will cover his fees. That way he can focus solely on his grades and continue getting good results.

“Given has proved that if you fall you can definitely rise and come back stronger.”

Nominated by his elder sister Swazi, Vilakazi is described as someone who demonstrates “excellent leadership qualities and community engagement [whose] outstanding academic achievements have made him stand out among his peers”. His bursary will alleviate financial pressure on his parents, who are pensioners.

Each of the bursaries will cover study fees, books and stationery, accommodation, a laptop and food.

“Elegant Fuel’s bursary initiative has an encouraging outlook – it’s about true empowerment for all,” adds Strydom.