Raised in the rural area of Dumbe in KwaZulu-Natal 24-year-old Sbulelo Makhanya, had the ambition to be the first generation of his family to get an education. In 2016 Makhanya registered for his Human Resource Management course at Berea College of Technology, a higher-education campus located in the city. “I come from a family of uneducated people, my uncle had a dream to change the cycle and be the force behind the first academics to hail from our household,” said Makhanya whose uncle works as a taxi driver. “Through the little money, he earned my uncle first put my aunt through UNISA and when she was about to complete her studies, I enrolled at Berea college,” he adds.
Moving to the city didn’t come with luxury. “During my first year in college, I stayed at the KwaMashu Hostel because my uncle could not afford to pay for my rent.” Living in a shared room with adult factory workers came with its challenges. “I was living with people who didn’t know books, individuals who couldn’t relate to my academic ambitions. I would sit and study for exams and out of nowhere they start singing and dancing to traditional songs.”
The following year Makhanya moved into a much more student-friendly environment. As a student, relocating from the DCC campus building to the iconic BTC site commonly known as Tourist Junction had a positive influence on his studies. “The campus was beautiful inside and out. I had access to various facilities that allowed me to successfully pass all my modules.” Makhanya obtained 30 distinctions making him the Top Achiever in his academic programme. Currently in the market for employment Makhanya is confident that his accredited qualification will get him far in life.
Reflecting on his journey, Makhanya recalls how he almost dropped out due to financial reasons and it was his taxi driver uncle that encouraged him to never give up. “Education is important; yes, there will be challenges along the way but soldier on. The results come with great opportunities.”
From a specialist engineering school, it has extended its offering to the fields of IT, Management Studies, Education, Hospitality and Catering and Travel and Tourism, with a full bouquet of 32 qualifications.
Today, the institution includes three (3) campuses located in the heart of central Durban, including higher-education campus, Berea College of Technology and Berea Matric School, a tuition centre offering free matric with every vocation course.