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Massmart and university of Pretoria bursary opens doors for black commerce students

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Massmart Holdings and University of Pretoria have recently launched a bursary scheme aimed at previously disadvantaged black undergraduates (preferably women) studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce.

Five bursaries will be awarded each year. The bursary, which covers registration, tuition, residence fees and books, will be awarded for the duration of the three-year degree, subject to academic performance. Students will receive a monthly stipend and will also receive the primary health care benefits normally accorded to Massmart staff members.

Exposure to everyday work situations as well as work and life skills training development form part of the programme. Upon completion of their studies, graduates will automatically be given employment at Massmart, reporting to the head of Group Corporate Affairs.

“We are concerned by the low representation of commercially qualified black women in management positions in our business and see this bursary scheme as a way of attracting more black commerce students, particularly women, to the retail industry,” says Massmart Group Human Capital Executive Pearl Maposhe.

Elsie Mojela, Keamogetswe Tsingtsing, Koketso Semelane, Neolin Mbombi and Thabang Tsomele are the first students to have been awarded Massmart bursaries.

For practical reasons, the first bursaries have targeted students embarking on their second year of study. Going forward, the focus will be on first-year students who achieved a minimum average of 60% in matric.

The scheme complements Massmart’s graduate development programme. Launched in January 2007, the programme has already seen 90 black graduates recruited into the company. “These initiatives are helping us to enrich our own talent pool, from which our future leaders are likely to emerge,” says Maposhe.

“We look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship with Massmart,” says Nikki Groenwald, academic co-ordinator for the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of Pretoria. “There are many deserving students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds who are eager to acquire these vital skills, but who can’t because of financial constraints. For those students, being awarded a Massmart bursary could be a life-changing experience,” says Groenewald.

Media release issued by:
Brunswick Group LLP – 011 502 7300
Zayd Nakwa
082 801 8621
Julia Scheffer
082 802 4265

Media queries should be addressed to:
Brian Leroni
Group Corporate Affairs Executive
Massmart Holding Ltd
011 517 0000

Notes to Editors:

Massmart is a managed portfolio of nine wholesale and retail chains, and one buying group, each focused on high-volume, low-margin, low-cost distribution of mainly branded consumer goods for cash. The Group operates in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa through four divisions comprising 243 stores and 574 buying Group members.

Massmart’s wholesale and retail brands enjoy high recognition and include Makro, Game, Dion Wired, Builders Warehouse, Builders Express, Builders Trade Depot, CBW, Jumbo Cash and Carry and the Shield buying group.

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