The Subtech Imbokodo Trust

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Subtech South Africa establishes the Subtech Imbokodo Trust

Siyamthanda Vuyelwa is originally from the Eastern Cape, having been born and lived in Uitenhage. Living with her mother, grandfather and uncle with only her mother employed. Her little sister lives with her grandparents.

She was offered a bursary in grade 9 to study at Lawhill Maritime Centre in 2013 which came as a blessing as her mother could no longer afford to pay school fees and this is the reason she accepted the bursary. Up and till this point she didn’t know anything about the maritime industry.

During her time at Lawhill she fell in love with the maritime industry and decided she wanted to pursue a tertiary qualification after Grade 12 that would enable her to work in the industry. In 2016, her Grade 12 studies and accommodation were sponsored by the Subtech Group, along with 2 class mates, Phaphama Kepu and Gershwyn Poole.

Following a presentation to her class by Lwandle Marine Environmental Services, Siyamthanda knew that she wanted to pursue a career as a Marine Scientist and applied to Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) to complete a Diploma in Marine Sciences. She was subsequently accepted into the programme. Having been accepted, Siyamthanda’s next hurdle was to find funding for her studies. It is at this point that Siyamthanda became the first beneficiary of the Subtech Imbokodo Trust.

Subtech Imbokodo Trust

The Subtech Imbokodo Trust is an educational trust that came into existence in February 2017. The Trust holds a three percent (3%) shareholding in the ownership structure of Subtech South Africa.

The purpose of this trust is to use dividend flow from shareholding in Subtech SA to grant educational bursaries to new entrants to the maritime industry to enable them to complete tertiary education that directly relates to the Maritime Industry at a registered tertiary educational facility in South Africa thus empowering them to find employment in the maritime sector. The Trust has been set up in recognition of the fact that education and skills development are part of the long-term solution to many of the problems that the country and the economy presently face and directly supports the objectives of Operation Phakisa.

The beneficiaries of this trust are required to meet specific, documented minimum criteria and bursary awards are made in keeping with assessment against the documented criteria as well as funds available from the dividend flow to the Trust.

The Trustees comprise 4 senior managers of the Subtech Group: Mandy McGuire (Group Training and Development Manager), Bjorn Anderson (Group Financial Manager), Nomkhitha Mbele (Marine Manager) and Delaine Pillay (Financial Accountant).

In terms of the other 2 Lawhill Maritime Centre Subtech bursary holders, Gershwyn has gone on to study Navigation at CPUT. Phaphama joined Subtech South Africa in December 2016 as a Trainee Ordinary Seaman on a dredging project in the Port of Durban. This project say the employment of a number of trainees, including 8 trainee ordinary seamen, 2 trainee barge masters and 2 trainee long reach excavator trainees. However, subsequent to him gaining his first three months’ sea time, he was successful in his application to Sea Safety Training Group for financial assistance to complete their (Sea Safety’s) Officer of the Watch (Deck) Training Programme. As a result of this and understanding his deep-seated desire to one day be the Master of his own vessel, he was released from his Subtech Contract that weekend and flown back to Cape Town to take up this wonderful opportunity.

As Nelson Mandela famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Through the Subtech Imbokodo Trust, the Subtech Group intends to change the maritime world one bursary at a time.