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REAP Students
In 2021, REAP is supporting 374 students from rural areas across South Africa, of whom 290 are enrolled at Public Universities and Universities of Technology in 7 different provinces and 84 are enrolled at TVET Colleges. Our students are studying a broad range of disciplines at under-graduate level. All REAP students come from families earning less than ZAR122,000 per year before deductions (gross). We currently have 104 first years on the programme.

Meet our Students

Student News

Top Performer Year-End 2014

Millicent Khosa

- 7 Distinctions -

Course: B com Finance
Institution: UJ

Top Performer Year-End 2014

Elgene Moos

- 4 Distinctions -

Course: Physiotherapy

Top Performer Year-End 2014

Ntombizodwa Mosete

- 8 Distinctions -

Course: Bsc Biochemistry
Institution: NWU

Top Performer Year-End 2014

Dowayne Koopman

- 6 Distinctions -

Course: Public Management
Institution: CPUT

Top Performer Year-End 2014

Siwapiwe Mpondonkulu

- 3 Distinctions -

Course: B Com Rat(Econ Business Management)
Institution: NMMU

Top Performer Year-End 2014

Sizwe Sidaza

- 6 Distinctions -

Course: B Arts International Studies
Institution: UKZN PMB

Molly Monyeki

Course: MBChB
Institution: University of the Witwatersrand

  If anyone knows my journey, REAP certainly makes the top of my list. If anyone chose not to give up on me and saw me deserving of a second chance, REAP again makes the top of my list and lastly, if anybody deserves my everlasting gratitude, that goes to the REAP family. I recall my first week in Jo’burg, big city lights, naive little me, unknowing of what lay ahead in the world of health sciences and the aisles of Braamfontein, all the way to Park station. I was excited to leave home to make a better life for myself and my family, but in all honesty, I was scared. However, I was afforded a student mentor by the name of Thobani who calmed my nerves saying he was from REAP and that his sole purpose was to help me. I was comforted knowing that as much as home was miles away I had a second family with REAP. The numerous meetings somewhat got to me initially but funny enough I would come out of the meeting more jolly and motivated than I went in. Whenever I was having a rough week, the meetings cheered me up and reminded me of my number one goal. I will forever be grateful for the time you afforded me. To those in the family whom I never got to meet but made things happen i.e. the REAP board, the Director, numerous administrative personnel etc. I thank you too very much. For it is through your efforts that today many of us have achieved our goals. Today, I am Dr. Monyeki all because of your endless support. I can never thank you enough. I will carry the REAP torch with me throughout and carry the spirit with me wherever I go.

Name Surname

Course: Bachelor of ...
Institution: University

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Name Surname

Course: Bachelor of ...
Institution: University

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Jaco Herwel

Course: Bachelor of Arts
Institution: UWC

Jaco is a final year Bachelor of Arts student at the University of the Western Cape. He was recently awarded a Leader Certificate for 3 years’ service as a Ward Leader in The Presidents Awards.

Seen in the picture with Jaco is Lara Kruiskamp, CEO of The Presidents Awards in South Africa (left) and Minister Albert Fritz of Provincial Government in the Western Cape for Social Development (right). Jaco was also invited to attend a question and answer session with Minister Anton Bredell from Provincial Government about the youth and its involvement in the community and the role they play. Minister Bredell’s portfolio is Environmental affairs and community development.

Jaco is from Robertson and is a committed REAP peer buddy who assists first year students on campus.
REAP is very proud of Jaco’s achievement and will follow his future career with great interest.

Fanelesibonge Mbuyazi

Course: Computer Science
Institution: UCT

Fanelesibonge is a first year student studying Computer Science at UCT. She is very passionate about her course and says she is enjoying it so far. On Saturday 23rd July, Women in Computer Science UCT hosted a hackathon.

The theme of the hackathon was ‘Using technology to solve community problems’. Students from first year to final year joined and among them was Fanele. Trainers from Google Developer Group Cape Town were present to assist with implementation and there were judges from Amazon Development Center and Facebook.


The judging criteria was:
1. Novelty
2. Creativity
3. Functionality
4. Visual design
5. Implementation effort.

Fanelesibonge Mbuyazi created an application to facilitate donation of biomatter such as blood, bone marrow, organs and post-mortem body among others. She made a presentation on her app at the end of the event and she won first prize. Fanele walked away with two bags of goodies from Facebook and Amazon. She has also been offered an internship by Amazon for her 2nd year vacation. She also received a certificate from UCT Women in computer science to acknowledge the achievement.
Congratulations to Fanele on this achievement and flying the REAP flag high!

Image Caption: Fanele with the Google Development Group Trainers.

Sizwe Sidaza

Course: BSc
Institution: UKZN

Sizwe is a final year BSc student from the University of KwaZulu Natal. He was recently awarded a Talent, Excellence, and Equity Scholarship which is granted by the university to best performing students who are interested in academic service and/or lecturing.

The scholarship will assist him in his masters and PhD studies. Upon completion of his PhD, Sizwe will have the option to join UKZN's academic staff. Size also received a book from the Historical Association of South Africa. The book is an award for the top history student from each of the best South African universities. At UKZN the Historical Association chose to recognise and award only one student so Sizwe, is deeply moved by this honour.

He writes: “I thank REAP for putting me on this path. Without your bursary assistance I would not have come to UKZN, and obviously I would not have had this golden opportunity to be in academia. I now know that I will, one-day, be a University professor of international relations.”

Farren Khun

Course: ND Nursing
Institution: UWC

Farren is a third year Nursing Student at UWC, originally from Bonnievale, the first in her family to study. She attended Bonnievale High school where she was part of the editing team for the school paper, a member of the student council and a cheerleader for the her school’s sport team.

Nursing was Farren’s first choice of study and she explains that her desire to study this degree stems from her passion of caring for people. She is a dedicated student and her determination helps her to remain focused on her goals. Farren has to do 4000 hours of Nursing in order to qualify for her degree and she is very busy building up these hours, sometimes working 9 hour night shifts. She hopes to maybe work abroad some day.

Meet some of our Senior Students

REAP is privileged to walk alongside our students as they equip themselves for a better future. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing our students prosper as they commit themselves to their studies and blossom into confident and capable young adults.

Meet Nosiphiwo Afrika, a third year Environmental Health student at CPUT, Petro Abselon and Geraldine Bostander, both third year Bachelor of Education students from CPUT.

Lwando Vava

Course: ND Mechanical Engineering
Institution: NMMU

Lwando Vava, 2nd year ND Mechanical Engineering at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), comes from Corhana Village, 10 kilometres from Mtatha in the Eastern Cape. His father left when Lwando was young and has never made contact again. Since then, his mother has headed the household, which includes his younger brothers who are in primary school.

READ MORE Lwando began his studies at NMMU without any financial support. His NSFAS application was too late to be considered for a loan and as a result he did not secure a place in residence.

He stayed with a cousin, who worked as a security guard, in an informal settlement near Walmer, about 13 km from campus, where they shared a shack that had no electricity.

Lwando walked between NMMU and Walmer every day because he had no money for transport. Sometimes he slept in a computer laboratory on campus so he could type assignments and attend lectures in the morning.

Things were very hard for him as he was away from home and adjusting to university life and the new city. At one point their shack was bugled and he and his cousin lost all their clothes and food. His mother could not support him financially as she did not earn enough.

Despite all these challenges, in the first semester of his first year Lwando passed 5 of 6 subjects and earned a distinction (82%) in Mechanical Engineering Drawing. This was when a staff member at NMMU Student Counselling noticed his potential and contacted REAP. Lwando joined the Programme in the second semester of 2011 and went on to pass all 6 registered subjects in the second semester. In 2012 he passed all his subjects in the first semester and 4 of 6 subjects in the second semester. Sadly, this meant a delay of the in-service training he was due to start at the beginning of 2013.

Lwando is highly focused and self-motivated. When things were not in his favour, he did not lose sight of his vision. Gradually he came out of his shell and showed leadership skills at REAP workshops. In 2011 he joined REAP’s Early Recruitment Project (ERP) pilot. He received training in the PACE career guidance tools and spoke to over 400 grade 11 and 12 learners at a school in Corhana. He continued with the ERP in 2012, making a PowerPoint presentation to introduce REAP, the ERP, and covering career choice and how to apply to a higher education institution and for financial aid. He went on to commit himself to becoming a REAP mentor for 2013 first year students.

Asanda Vumazonke, Lwando’s SDA said his perseverance and dedication to his dream had been very inspiring for her; “…having had the opportunity to watch him grow and become the young man he is today has been a privilege for me. He did not let his background, past circumstances and all the challenges he was faced with defer his dream. He kept his head high and is working hard at making sure he achieves his dream of becoming an Engineer. At times we give up when the road gets rocky; we cry and ask ‘why me?’ But Lwando Vava took a positive approach and asked “why not me?” He took all those obstacles as stepping-stones in his life. He often jokes and says it’s because of all the things he went through in the 1st semester of his 1st year that he is where he is today. He is proud to be a REAP student, mentor, and Mechanical Engineering final year student.”


Khulekane Nhlanhla

Course: BSc in Geology
Institution: University of Pretoria

Khulekane is doing his 3rd year BSc in Geology at the University of Pretoria. He comes from Maboloka in the Brits area of the North West Province. He is the eldest of four children. He matriculated in 2008 and enrolled at UP in 2010. Although he struggled initially with the fast-paced university environment, he has emerged as one of REAP’s more confident students. He is a leader in a spiritual group in his residence and is very committed to community service.

READ MORE In 2010, he assisted with cleaning and gardening for Letlhabile, an organisation that cares for the aged. In 2011, he distributed information about bursaries and higher education to grade 12 learners in two schools in his community.

In 2012, he expanded the information sharing community work by collaborating with other university students in his community to motivate learners, provide them with information, and serve as peer mentors to them once they enrolled in higher education. When Khulekane presented this project at a Final Year Students’ Workshop, he had this to say:

“Community service is one of many ways of giving back and showing gratitude to the community. It develops selflessness and teaches one to consider others before him/herself. Personally, taking my time and dedicating it to helping others was a challenge to me. It seemed like hard work all for nothing. I always believed in seeing the fruits of my labour in a form of money. This was until I did my first community service back in my community, when I learned that I’m not only giving back but I am also gaining something from it. From this, I have grown to see that helping others is indirectly helping myself. It developed my character in terms of work ethics, communication and taught me to manage my time better. Now I see the fruits of my labour not being money but seeing people benefit from what I have done and this has led me to strongly believe in giving back to the community.”

Thamsanqa (Thami) Buys

- 1 distinction -

Course: B. Admin
Institution: University of Pretoria

Thamsanqa (Thami) Buys, 3rd year B. Admin, University of Pretoria, who hails from Klerksdorp, North West Province, completed his matric at Matlosane Secondary in 2010 and started studying at the University of Pretoria in 2011. Thami has proven to be an outstanding REAP student. Over the years his interest in Politics and International Relations has grown through his academic exposure and yet his development has gone beyond his formal studies. In 2012 he was offered the opportunity to mentor first year students. READ MORE

In this position, he carried out his duties as a ‘big brother’. Thami understands the adaptation challenges that first years often face. In his hands, the first years experienced reduced anxiety.

Thami was offered an opportunity to be a Tutor in Public Administration, where he teaches students and assists lectures with their lecture preparation. He receives a stipend for this work, which is grooming him for his future career.

This is what Thami had to say:
“It is an honour to be afforded the opportunity to tell my story about the 3 year journey that I'm currently undertaking at the University of Pretoria. As a REAP mentor, I have learnt a lot about how to handle the challenges faced by other students, how to look after and serve the interests of others. The mentorship role has enhanced my leadership ability and all that has cultivated and prepared me for my tutoring role at UP, where I conduct first and second year classes. The challenges faced as a tutor are made easily manageable because of all the student development programmes I took part in as a REAP student. To this day, I aspire to inspire others, just as my SDA continues to inspire me academically and on a personal level.”

Itumeleng Mojanaga

- 1 distinction -

Course: Bcom Accounting (CA)
Institution: CPUT

Itumeleng Mojanaga is from Ipelegeng near Schweizer-Reneke in the North West. He is a 2nd year Bcom Accounting (CA) student at the University of Cape Town. Itumeleng has been a top and consistent achiever since his first year in 2011. In the first semester he achieved a distinction of 77% in Macroeconomics. His hard work has since been acknowledged by the institution. He was not only invited to join the Golden Key Society, but he was also nominated and selected as the most consistent performer in his programme by the Commerce Faculty. Itumeleng has also been shortlisted for an interview for a bursary with a top accounting firm.

REAP's Student Development Advisor is really proud of the progress this student has made from a shy and quiet first year boy in 2011 to a confident young man in 2012.

Zanovuyo Alfred Vanda

- 1 distinction -

Course: 4th year Bachelor of Social Work
Institution: UKZN

I am a 4th year Bachelor of Social Work student at the University of KwaZulu Natal. I am from Bhongweni Township in Kokstad, south of KwaZulu Natal. I have journeyed from the small town of Kokstad to one of the top universities in Africa. Although the road has been long and rocky at times, REAP has been with me every step of the way. The challenges in a big institution like UKZN are overwhelming for any first year student but with REAP's support I have managed to face them and progress both academically and personally. READ MORE

REAP has helped me in many ways, firstly through its academic support which ensures that students are better equipped with the necessary skills and abilities to cope at tertiary level. The workshops that REAP organise or refer students to have played a great role in making me a better person and have improved my skills necessary for employment.

Having caring student supervisors who are always ready to listen, help and give advice where it is needed makes it easy to deal with any challenges that would otherwise negatively affect my academic work. Their support from my first day in the university until now has been great.

I thank REAP from the bottom of my heart for ensuring that my dream of furthering my studies in a university is being realised. My plans are to successfully complete my degree and practice as a professional social worker in my hometown, and I am looking forward to the joy and satisfaction that comes with playing a role in someone's progress and development in life through my social work career.

NMU initiative by the students in 2016

In February 2016, Vatiswa Mangxola started working at the PE office, based at Nelson Mandela University. This was the first time a Student Development Advisor (SDA) would be based at an institution in the Eastern Cape, and the students were thrilled to have their SDA on campus because it meant that they did not have to rely on a public phone to contact their SDA who was based at the head office in Cape Town at the time. READ MORE

Sikho Tilanisi started in the REAP programme in 2015. He registered for a ND Civil Engineering at NMU, but unfortunately was withdrawn in June of the same year due to poor academic performance. He managed to register in 2016 on his own steam, repeating his first year, but struggled with funding his accommodation, meals and other necessities. Sikho squatted with a church member, sharing a small dodgy apartment in the PE CBD. He did not have any adequate study space which meant he had to stay on campus until late at night, relying on an unreliable shuttle service to transport him back home. It may have not been an adequate place for a student to reside in, but he had little alternative.

Sikho then heard about the REAP SDA’s visibility on campus and visited the REAP office one day. The SDA was Vatiswa Mangxola, who was not happy with what she saw, having met him as a first year in 2015. He was not in a good state. Vatiswa encouraged him to consult with his lecturers and the student academic development office to try and improve his academics so he could re-apply for REAP support in the following year.

Vatiswa also called an urgent meeting with REAP students requesting them to donate what they could to help Sihko. The REAP NMU students came in their numbers to support him, donating everything from clothes, food, toiletries and even cash. Fortunately for Sikho, he still had his text books and a REAP laptop from the previous year. He was overwhelmed with this gesture from his fellow campus mates. The students requested that the SDA keep everything in her office as they wanted to remain anonymous.

This was very powerful initiative by the NMU REAP class of 2016. These students demonstrated the spirit of humanity beyond measures. I am grateful to have had the privilege of working with such students who entrusted me and assisted a fellow student in need. Sikho, did well in 2016 and was reinstated to the REAP programme in 2017 to receive full funding. He sends his gratitude to both REAP, his fellow students and especially to his SDA because he feels he could not have done well without her support. He declares, “I will forever be grateful to you Sis wam”.

Career Fairs for Final Year Students

Each year, REAP holds regional career fairs across the country to prepare and equip our final year students with skills such as CV writing, interview techniques and job searches. These workshops assist our students to maximise on their newly acquired qualifications and also introduces them to possible career opportunities.

Click here to view more pictures of Career fairs held in 2016.

Getting it right from the start

Orientation Camps are a very important component of REAP’s mentorship programme. Every year, we host regional camps for all our first year students, who come from rural areas and have to manage huge life transitions as they enter the world of tertiary study.

The purpose of these camps is to build relationships, to explain the practical aspects of being a REAP student, to help budget and plan for the year ahead and to equip, encourage and inspire our students as they enter into a completely new lifestyle and challenging study environment.

Click here to view some pictures of the recent Western Cape Orientation Camp, held in Villiersdorp.

Clive Mopeleti

Originally from Kimberly, Clive Mopeleti is currently doing his 3rd year in Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and he has been with REAP since his first year at UCT in 2011. Clive has always been passionate about his field of study and since 1st year, he has been involved in various media projects on and off campus. Clive is an active participant of UCT’s Stepping Stones outreach initiative which provides aspiring film students an opportunity to gain practical experience and also develop their portfolios. Clive has developed a multi-dimensional portfolio and also started a blog to document his experiences and aspirations in film making and photography. READ MORE

The UCT TV Studio, a facility housed in the Department of Film and Media Studies, recently had the opportunity to shoot the South African leg of ‘Higher Education Today’, an American Talk Show that deals with issues of education and learning. ‘Higher Education Today’ is a cable television series produced by the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC. This was the first shoot outside of the United States and among the crew of 12 film makers were 4 UCT students who underwent a rigorous two week-long training programme conducted by the UCT TV Studio. The training programme focused on equipping the students with the necessary skills needed to film a multi-camera-setup talk show and one of the 4 film makers who were chosen from UCT was Clive Mopeleti himself.

Clive has a deep desire to grow and develop in his field and he always embraces opportunities to learn and develop valuable skills. He describes his experience filming the American talk show as an amazing and valuable one and he is always keen on trying out new things. He is also a Media Co-ordinator for a faculty developmental programme and has been a mentor on the REAP programme for two years. He is an asset for both REAP and UCT and his Student Advisor appreciates his sense of responsibility towards his personal growth and development and to top it all up, Clive is also passionate about ‘paying it forward’ as he is involved in social service projects in his home town. His passion, mixed with creativity has inspired him to partner with a friend and start an Organization called ‘Tribute to 1976 Youth’ which broadly focusses on Early Childhood Development in his home town. To fund the organization, Clive and his partner developed a clothing brand called ‘Tribute’ (first material due to be out by mid-November, 2013).

Outstanding Community Service:
Tshepo Khoetsa

Tshepo Khoetsa is a third year Psychology student at UCT. For his community service during the June vacation, Tshepo volunteered to tutor at a holiday learning programme in his former High School. The aim of the programme is to enrich learners’ educational experience. Tshepo joined this programme in 2012 as a volunteer tutor and particularly enjoyed teaching Geography. This year he was a co-ordinator for the programme, ensuring that all 25 volunteer tutors worked effectively to assist learners.

Tshepo is a REAP mentor and because of this, engaging in community service during the June vacation was not mandatory, as he had already voluntarily mentored first year REAP students. However, Tshepo showed his personal commitment to giving back to his community by going the extra mile. Tshepo told his Student Development Advisor how much he enjoys working with young people. He has also displayed a good understanding and appreciation of the principles behind community service. He feels that community service is a core element of his personal brand.

REAP Students assist with Winter School

Photo: REAP student, Busiswa Maxanjana was one of the tutors at the Winter School.

The Mthatha Education District was very pleased to be able to draw on the support of 5 REAP students during a recent Winter School held at St Johns College and Umtata Technical College.

The Winter School is a Grade 12 intervention programme that seeks to improve learner performance. Learners from under-performing rural schools are transported and accommodated in hostels for 2 weeks to be taught by the best teachers in the district. READ MORE

REAP students Asiphe Kruqulo from WITS, Busiswa Maxanjana from UCT, Kuselo Nompokwe from NMMU, Gift Nombekela from Rhodes, Lwando Vava from NMMU tutored learners for a total 8 days in Physical Sciences, Mathematics and Accounting.

Ntsapo Livi, Learning Support co-ordinator at the DOE said: “Mthatha district is very pleased and privileged to have had this group of committed students who were willing to work long hours and help under privileged rural learners to improve in their studies. A warm appreciation must also go to REAP staff, Glenda Glover and Asanda Vumazonke for their assistance in making this endeavour so successful.”