As many as 120 students can benefit from the initiative

The Wits Law Students Council has partnered with a Wits lecturer to launch an initiative to provide groceries, textbooks and stationery assistance to students in the faculty.

Paul Kaseke is funding the initiative through the law firm AfriConsult, where he is a senior managing partner. It will assist up to 120 students.

The Wits Law Students Council. Front row: Merica Ntswane, Tina Ntywele, Dieketso Boshego, Nolwandle Hadebe, Siphosihle Nkosazana Mbuli and Faatimah Laher. Back row: Neville van der Spuy, Lerato Moela, Tsepo Kotoane and Cebo Khumalo. Photo: Provided by Siphosihle Nkosazana Mbuli.

Kaseke told Wits Vuvuzela that the initiative was estimated to cost just under R500 000 a year.

AfriConsult will purchase the items, while the LSC will distribute them to awarded students. The textbooks will be kept at the LSC offices and selected students can borrow them for the semester.

Siphosihle Nkosazana Mbuli, secretary-general of the LSC, said that Kaseke’s office had sent the offer to the council via a Twitter message earlier this year.

Kaseke, who teaches the Labour Law component in Occupational Social Work said, “I decided to help out after learning about some of the issues faced by students in the law faculty.”

Mbuli told Wits Vuvuzela that, “The partnership is based on giving the students that would best be served by alleviating their situation and making law school more bearable.”

The grocery support will cover five students while the stationery support is to cover between 75 and 100 students. Between five and 10 students are set to benefit from the textbook loan system.

Applications for the three forms of assistance opened on April 30. By the time they closed on May 7, 74 students had applied.

A means test will be conducted to ensure that applying students require assistance, and are not receiving similar support already.

“We look at the students’ expenses, and use that to determine the level of assistance we can provide to a student. The plan is to make this an annual collaboration so if all goes well this year, future projects of a similar nature will continue,” Kaseke told Wits Vuvuzela.

Kamogelo Madileng, a third-year BCom Law student and recipient of the Vincent Tshabalala bursary, said she had applied for the grocery and stationery assistance.

“My bursary pays for tuition and books. I stay off-campus, and I don’t eat at the dining hall,” she said.

The LSC has extended the deadline for applications for textbooks and stationery by one more week.

“We want to help out as many students as we can, and we feel that not enough students got the opportunity to apply for this benefit,” Mbuli told Wits Vuvuzela.

FEATURED IMAGE: Kamogelo Madileng (left) and fourth-year LLB student Nokuthula Nyathi, have applied for LSC assistance with groceries and textbooks respectively. Photo: Molebogeng Mokoka