25-year old Mandy Franse from Caledon, has a BTech Tourism Management degree behind her name and is following her dream in the tourism field. She is one of 17 students who have been funded by the Klipheuwel Wind Farm Bursary programme, of which four students have already graduated, with the remaining thirteen still attending universities around the country, studying towards Bachelor Degrees.
“To study Tourism Management costs far more than I could afford, even with the help of my parents, so if it wasn’t for the Klipheuwel Bursary programme I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to finish my studies or would have large loan to pay off,” said Mandy Franse, who is currently working as an Intern at Theewaterskloof Municipality in the Community Services and Development department, having graduated at the end of last year.
Mandy studied Tourism as one of her Grade 12 subjects and also worked part-time at a small guest house in Caledon, whilst still at school. Looking to the future, she believes that the industry offers endless opportunities for personal growth and even the chance to start her own business. “The tourism industry isn’t just about attractions, it also involves business skills and marketing skills, which I really enjoy,” she added.
The Klipheuwel Wind Farm’s bursary programme is open to ambitious youth in the Theewaterskloof Municipality communities of Genadendal, Caledon, Grabouw, Botriver and Hermanus.
The programme launched in 2016 and has to-date invested around R2million, across twenty-three bursary recipients. Bursary beneficiaries receive tuition fees, travel and accommodation costs, book allowances and even a stipend.
The wind farm keeps in touch with the bursary recipients, helping to motivate them to achieve their goals.
“We like to be able to assist graduates to find employment, especially to seek opportunities within the communities that our bursary programme benefits, which affords them the privilege of serving their communities and of course contributing to our country’s rural economy,” concluded Anna Letsoalo, Senior Economic Development Officer for Klipheuwel Wind Farm.