01 Jun 21 News Communities South Africa

Bursary award gives engineering student added motivation

Este-Lee Nel says the financial support from Loeriesfontein and Khobab wind farms will allow her to focus on her studies at Boland FET College, in Paarl

A young South African college student has explained how being awarded a full bursary by her local local farms will help her achieve her career ambitions.

Este-Lee Nel is one of five learners from Loeriesfontein, in the Northern Cape, who have recently learned that they will be financially supported through their third-level studies.

Grade 12 pupils visit the bursary roadshow in Loeriesfontein last October

They were selected from applicants – many from disadvantaged backgrounds – who as Grade 12 pupils attended a bursary roadshow last October.

Now a first-year student at Boland FET College, in Paarl, Este-Lee told how the funding from Loeriesfontein and Khobab wind farms lifts one burden in working towards a National Certificate (Vocational) in Civil Engineering and Building Construction. 

She said: "This helps me to get one step closer to my big dream of becoming one of our country’s female engineers. The bursary relieves me financially so that I can stay focused on my studies and give my best."

The bursary programme, now in its fifth year, is intended to allow the community’s brightest young minds to develop their potential at university without the worry of fees or living costs.

It is currently supporting a total of 15 students from the Loeriesfontein area at tertiary education institutions across the country.

While promoted to all Loeriesfontein High School pupils in Grades 10 to 12 who have their sights set on university or technical college, the scheme will eventually focus on those hoping to graduate in STEM subjects, such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics and accounting.

Mainstream Economic Development Manager Vanessa Fredericks explained: "The bursary is one step towards making it possible for students to pursue their academic dreams. With the chance to further their education, each student is given the opportunity of a brighter and better economic future. 

"The bursary takes a huge financial burden off each student and their families, hopefully inspiring and motivating more youth with academic aspirations to aim at being awarded a bursary when the time comes."

  • Sister projects Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms were developed, constructed and are now operated by Mainstream for our Africa Joint Venture, Lekela Power. With a generation capacity of 140 megawatts each, they have been powering the equivalent of 240,000 South African households since entering operation in December 2017.