Wiseman Mavuso was one of the 39
students in the agency’s Western Region,
across three universities, to be awarded
a SANRAL bursary this financial year
It is often said that you should believe in
your dreams and they will come true. That
may be so, but this very talented young
man who is tackling his dreams head on, has
one word of advice for other young people:
Work Hard. Ok so strictly speaking those
are two words.
Mavuso is no stranger to hard work. From
Grade 1 to Grade 7, he emerged and
maintained his position as top student in the
school. Upon starting high school, learners
from other areas meant new and tougher
competition and he realised that he would
have to up his game.
In so doing, he earned the status of
being a maths fundi – and this proficient
mathematician was most disappointed when
he did not achieve 100% in his final maths
exam and instead had to be satisfied with
This despite the fact that there were
prolonged periods when his school had
no maths or science teachers and he had
to attend Saturday programmes at other
schools to access tuition.
His interest in Civil Engineering began
when he noticed that a new road, which
had been built in Mpumalanga, had massive
potholes less than three months after it was
The enquiring mind immediately wondered
how this had occurred, who was responsible,
what materials were used and how this
could be avoided in future.
So, at the tender age of 18, Mavuso, who
had never ventured beyond KZN and
Mpumalanga, set off on a bus to Cape Town,
for the very first time in his life, to enrol for
an Engineering degree at the University of
With no family financial support or friends,
this tenacious young man put one foot in
front of the other and started building his
dream, one brick at a time.
He had applied for several bursaries and
was delighted to be offered an interview by
SANRAL, making sure he arrived thoroughly
prepared. His preparation paid off. He was
awarded the bursary.
“Being awarded a SANRAL bursary has
taken enormous strain off my shoulders and
I can now channel 100% of my energy into
striving for academic excellence,” said the
very humble Wiseman.
If the 94% he achieved for Engineering
Mechanics in his first year is anything to go
by, academic excellence is most certainly
what this young man is all about.
Asked about the family he left back home,
his mother is undoubtedly the rock who
supported and encouraged him to dream,
work and persevere. Her years of nurturing
has also instilled in Mavuso the desire to
help and reach out to others. Even with a
heavy workload, he finds the time to mentor
and tutor other students in maths.
Now in his second year of study, the
scope of interest is already expanding and
Mavuso has discovered a new fascination,
particularly with exceptionally tall
structures, the likes of which are found in
cities like Dubai.
A patriot at heart, he has no immediate plans
to set off into the wilds beyond the borders
of SA. He would like to take lessons from
the rest of the world and apply that to new
developments in South Africa.
“Who knows? I may just be involved in the
design of multi-level tunnels in the future,”
concluded Mavuso with a wink.