It all adds up for Bay accounting boffins

Nicky Willemse

THE national drive to grow the number of black chartered accountants in South Africa has been boosted by excellent results posted by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

An impressive 93% of the honours graduates from NMMU’s School of Accounting’s transformation-embracing Thuthuka Bursary Fund (TBF) programme passed the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ 2012 Qualifying Examination (Part 1) – significantly higher than the national TBF pass rate of 81%, and streets ahead of the 69% pass rate for non-TBF black candidates.

“It’s a great and exciting achievement,” said successful candidate Sitembele James, 24, now working as an academic trainee in NMMU’s School of Accounting. “It is something I always wanted to achieve.”

He said NMMU’s TBF programme was a “benchmark model for other universities in South Africa”.

The South African Institute for Chartered Accountants (SAICA) launched the TBF initiative, which runs at a number of South African universities, to assist black candidates in qualifying.

NMMU TBF graduate Rolivhuwa Maluma, 22, now working for MTN in Johannesburg, said it was a great relief to hear he had passed. “I’m a step closer to the destination I’ve been working towards for so many years.”

Maluma nearly missed out on pursuing his high school dream of becoming a CA when he was told, upon first-year registration at NMMU, that his maths marks were not good enough to register for the accounting programme.

A sympathetic faculty officer decided he deserved a chance – and he has proved her right.

School of Accounting director Prof Frans Prinsloo said: “We are very proud of our students’ achievements, often attained despite difficult personal circumstances. The Thuthuka results in the qualifying examination not only confirm the quality of our graduates, but also attest to the effectiveness of our Thuthuka and SAICA-accredited chartered accountancy programme.”

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