The school will go head-to-head against big brands in the celebrated awards
The Wits Energy Leardership programme hosted a seminar to “to better inform students and the South African public about a major economic development in Southern Africa.”
Students at WBS create initiative to tackle socioeconomic issues
By Ntombi Mkandhla
Former Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister talks politics and economic issues at Wits Business School
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The Wits Business School has set aside R 2 million in scholarships for MBA students from across Africa who are in financial need.
With the conversation surrounding #Access still hot on the lips of students and staff, the Wits Business School (WBS) announced that the institution will be giving nine exceptional candidates scholarships for the 2016 academic year.
“The selection process is straight forward, we look at the candidate’s financial need, academic merit and career progression to see how they have done in the working environment. Candidates are required to submit a motivational video stating why they want to study and what they propose to do with the qualification,” said Conrad Viedge, MBA programme director at WBS.
The proposed MBA scholarships valued at over R2-million will be available to both full and part time MBA programme applicants from across Africa.
“The bursary is sponsored through the university with money sourced from our third stream income,” said Viedge.
There are different types of scholarships available: Full scholarships which cover the full tuition, textbooks, living allowance and an international study tour. The partial scholarship insures a sizable contribution towards tuition fees while merit scholarships provide for a smaller portion of the MBA tuition fees.
Before applying for the bursary, applicants must first be accepted into the MBA programme. Candidates will then be notified on the progress of their funding request.
In a statement Prof. Steve Bluen, head of the Wits Business School, said “One of our four pillars of excellence here at WBS is character excellence. Through this, WBS aims to graduate leaders that strive for inclusivity and sustainability and are driven by a desire to make a difference. But as a school we lead by example and the scholarship programme is just one instance of this in action.”
Applications for the first term of 2016 are currently closed but you can still check the WBS website for announcements regarding scholarships for the June 2016 MBA intake.
The main challenge to economic growth—as set out in South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP)—is “incoherence”, according to some experts at Wits on Thursday.
Vice-chancellor Prof Adam Habib called the NDP “incoherent” and said “trade-offs” were needed. The private and public sector as well as trade unions needed to come together and make concessions in order for the NDP to work.
“We need a pact agreement on the NDP, we need a coherent plan that involves the business, labour, government and society,” said Habib.
Providing a business perspective, Nonkululeo Nyembezi, CEO of Ichor Coal NV, said there needs to be “frankness between constituents and people in government need to be open”.
The panellists said the reason for the disagreements about the NDP was a lack of consensus on its policies.
Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) strategist Neil Coleman said there was no broad consensus with the implementation of the NDP “and the NDP cannot be implemented without consent from and coherence with the workers.”
Coleman said the NDP was “ideologically driven rather than practical.”
The panelists also argued over whether the NDP would create jobs and whether these jobs would be sustainable.
National Planning Committee Secretariat head Khulekani Mathe said the plan’s goal was to bring unemployment levels below six percent by creating 11 million new jobs by 2030.
However, Coleman countered that these would be unsustainable, low-paying jobs that would threaten economic stability. He said the youth wage subsidy would result in wage repression.
“Repressing wages of first time workers will deepen inequality and economy with not grow,” said Coleman.
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, who was present in the audience, told the panel that wage repression would lead to more income inequality and instability in the country.
“When you depress wages of the youth, and whilst you say nothing and in fact celebrate the fact that the CEO’s continues to smile to the banks and take their monies all over the world, then you know that you’re going to work on political instability,” said Vavi.
Mathe disagreed the NDP would result in wage repression “there’s no way government would impoverish the people by doing that.”
He said the NDP instead supported “wage incentives”.
“What we do propose is a wage incentive, popularly known as the employment tax incentive, which is to try and encourage employers to employ more young people,” Mathe said.
The panellists agreed that income inequality was a problem but disagreed on whether the NDP would reduce the gap between rich and poor.
Coleman said that the NDP aims to decrease the Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality in a country, to 0.6 percent. This would still leave South Africa the most unequal country in the world “and this is our ambition,” he said.
The discussion on Thursday was the first of the ten-part OR Tambo Debate Series hosted by the Wits School of Governance.
It is not easy being a young entrepreneur in South Africa but Thabang Molefi kept swimming even while her business was sinking.
Molefi shared the challenges of her journey from humble beginnings in Soweto to the United States of America as she promoted her recently published book at the Wits Business Society (WBS) yesterday.
Dollars to Soweto chronicles Molefi’s rise to business success and is a manual for any young entrepeneur who feels discouraged by the difficulties of starting a business. “I used to walk to and back from school every day while I watched my class mates drive home and it helped me prepare for the challenges I would face in the future,” she writes.
Molefi is now grateful for the many times she had to struggle in order to make it. There’s a time when she had to move back in with her mom because the money she earned on American cruise ships ran out on her first attempt to open a healthcare centre. “I had to go back and live at home and drive my mother’s car”.
She went from running a truck company, to property management and now owns a company called Roots Healthcare Centre in Soweto. She regrets leaving the business she was most passionate about (Roots Healthcare Centre) for other businesses that she was convinced would make her quick money.
She told members of the WBS: “don’t leave the business you’re trying to grow in and don’t grow too fast.” She admits she felt pressure from other entrepreneurs who were doing much better than she was which made her deviate from her core business.
However, the many challenges she faced in opening her business did not stop her from pursuing her goals but it made her more cautious about her decisions and priorities. “Your priorities must be right in business because people start with the things they should start with last,” she said.
She advised students who wanted to become entrepreneurs to make sure they market their business well and run the business without relying on credit.