10 July 2020 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Charl Devenish
The handover was done by Thomas September, ABSA Head Regional Coverage: Relationship Banking. With him are a student, Emily Ndlovu, Ntokozo Nkabinde (Institutional Advancement) and Tshenolo Thibeletsa (ICT).

“I am still in disbelief. Before I had this laptop, I was borrowing my cousin's laptop to do my academic tasks.”

These are the words of final-year Biochemistry and Food Science student, Xoliswa Khumalo, one of 200 students who recently became recipients of a generous donation of laptops from ABSA. In its endeavour to make a contribution towards saving the 2020 academic year, ABSA identified deserving students.

Xoliswa continued: “This laptop will help me type my assignments, since all of them need to be typed. I will also be able to view my slides and watch videos of my lectures. Now I do not have to wait for my cousin to watch movies. I am free to use mine for as long as I want.”

Another recipient is Itumeleng Katjedi, a second-year Economics student. “Thank you very much for the contribution to making my education journey much easier and simpler. I will be sure to strive to get the best grades,” she said.

“The University of the Free State (UFS) wishes to express its sincere appreciation to ABSA for investing in the future of those students who have little or no financial means to complete their studies remotely.  Much has changed and many lives are directly and indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, in a letter to ABSA’s Dr Reaan Immelman, Head: Education Delivery Citizenship.  

“These are challenging times, not only for our country, but also for higher education institutions, as we work towards ensuring that the academic year is completed without any of our students being left behind.  The UFS is deeply thankful for the 200 laptops, which will make an immeasurable contribution to alleviating inequalities between the different student cohorts.  For these students, this gesture will not only advance their academic success; it will position them for the future world of work. ABSA will always be remembered as the co-creator of their future,” he adds in the letter.

Students from across the length and breadth of South Africa continue to receive their laptops via courier services, and those near the campuses are able to collect them while observing the COVID-19 regulations.

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