Twenty-four scholars and students, whose studies are funded by SUNCOAST, got a glimpse into the working world at a meet and greet function held at Suncoast Casino, Hotels & Entertainment (SUNCOAST) last week. The tertiary and grade 12 bursary recipients receive funding from SUNCOAST as part of the Vukukhanye Bursary programme. The event was an opportunity for the bursars to meet management, gain an understanding of the various career opportunities available at SUNCOAST and get an insight into the SUNCOAST corporate environment.
Mike Dowsley, Executive Director of SUNCOAST said, “The partnership with Vukukhanye has been most fulfilling for us. There is no better way to give back to our community than through education for our youth because they are the future leaders.” He further emphasised that it was one of the company’s long term goals to be able to secure a post for each recipient within the company.
Under the guidance of Tsogo Sun’s CSI strategy, in 2009, SUNCOAST adopted Vukukhanye, a public benefit organisation based in Chesterville, as a primary charity. Part of the partnership with Vukukhanye focuses on educational bursaries. Currently SUNCOAST supports 24 bursars on the Vukukanye Bursary programme where they are supported from primary school through to the completion of their tertiary qualification.
The aim of the project was to motivate the senior learner body, reward achievement and facilitate tertiary education for deserving, disadvantaged learners. Vukukhanye Bursary Project was first initiated at Chesterville Secondary School and this was motivated by the 2007 Grade 12 pass rate at Chesterville Secondary School which was 47 percent. In honour of the long history of association between Vukukhanye and Chesterville Secondary School, the first students to be taken through the programme were selected from the school.
Two target schools, uKukhanya Kwelanga Junior Primary School and Christopher Nxumalo Senior Primary School have since been added into the beneficiary list. While continuing to sponsor those bursars selected in the previous years, Suncoast sponsored four new bursaries per year, two junior primary (Grade 1), two senior primary (Grade 5), two high school (Grade 8), and two tertiary (selected from Grade 12) bursaries. It was decided that one male and one female candidate would be selected per grade. All bursaries are renewable annually.
Tsepo Mchunu, who started on the bursary programme in 2009 while studying at Chesterville Secondary School has now, completed his Diploma in Marketing through the Rosebank College. “I would not trade anything for the opportunity and experience that I have gained and encourage students facing adversities to not give up on their dreams” he said.
There are currently eight other students who are on the programme including, Thandeka Masondo, a Grade 12 learner from Chesterville Secondary School. Thandeka is a diligent, high performing student who has not paid attention to her background and is striving to one day be an electrician.
Other recipients of the bursary programme include, Ntobeko Magubane who is currently in his second year of Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal; Thabiso Ngcobo, who is currently in his first year of a Diploma in Technical Financial Accounting from the Durban University of Technology; Thobeka Radebe in her second year of a nursing qualification from NetCare College and Z’busiso Makhanya , who is completing her Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Accounting from PC Training & Business College.
In addition to funding their tuition, students have an opportunity to apply into the SUNCOAST graduate programme which started in 2006 and gives graduates, with no previous work experience relating directly to a qualification, an opportunity to be trained and integrated in to the SUNCOAST team. In order to qualify they need to have a Matric (NQF 4) and a Diploma or Degree in the fields of Human Resources (HR), Information Technology (IT), Finance, Marketing, Technical (Electronic Diplomas) or Maintenance (Technical Trade Subjects).
Anthony van der Muelen from Vukukhanye praised SUNCOAST’s community investment. “SUNCOAST has demonstrated a significant commitment to Chesterville by assisting Vukukhanye,” he said.
Anthony further emphasises that every child in the participating schools has an opportunity to be considered and were assessed by their school results, extra mural activities, character and ambition.
“We receive a lot of help from the teachers who are our eyes and ears on the ground and they use this bursary programme to motivate students to perform better and we are happy with the progress so far,” said Anthony.
The partnership between Suncoast and Vukukhanye further focuses on providing funds for various maintenance needs for Vukukhanye projects or related projects in Chesterville. As well as monthly visits to Chesterville conducted by SUNCOAST staff where they support crèches, schools, clinics and community centres.
ABOUT SUNCOAST CASINO, HOTELS AND ENTERTAINMENT:
Influenced by the Art Deco style of Miami South Beach, SUNCOAST Casino, Hotels & Entertainment is Durban’s leading gamer-tainment destination. It boasts unparalleled atmosphere from its location on Durban’s stretch of palm-lined beaches known as the Golden Mile and is within walking distance of the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Winner of the BMW Supertech KZN Top Business Award – Tourism Category 2014, voted KwaZulu-Natal’s “Best Casino” for the 13th year running, in the 2016 Daily News Your Choice Awards, the 2014 Ask Afrika Orange Index customer service award winning in the Casino Industry category, and recipient of the 2016 certificate of excellence by TripAdvisor.
SUNCOAST Casino, Hotels and Entertainment continues to be an integral part of the Durban entertainment scene.
SUNCOAST has a gaming floor of over 7,000m2, with coinless SMART technology, 1,600 slot machines, 67 gaming tables, and an exclusive Salon Prive called 77 Ocean Drive for higher limit slots and tables.
SUNCOAST opens onto a boardwalk which links to uShaka Marine World to the south and Moses Mabhida stadium and Blue Lagoon to the north.
There is a superb grassed area between SUNCOAST and the beach offering loungers and umbrellas for the beachgoer.
The SUNCOAST Durban complex also offers 5-star conference and eventing venues plus superior accommodation at the sea-facing Suncoast Towers and SunSquare Suncoast with its Balinese-style spa and stylish Jeera Restaurant.
SUNCOAST Casino, Hotels & Entertainment is owned by Tsogo Sun Gaming.