Two GWF Students Accepted into Top SA Tourism School

This is a game changer. Two Good Work Foundation (GWF) students have been awarded bursaries by the SA College For Tourism (SACT) to study Small Accommodation Establishment Operations. Thabisile Mashile and Helen Sibuyi – both Absa-sponsored students at GWF’s Hazyview Digital Learning Centre – have beat the competition and will be moving to Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape for the 18-month certificate.

Growing up in a family of five in a rural village called Oakley, Thabisile had a tough upbringing with an unemployed mother who single-handedly raised her kids.


A proud moment for Thabisile as she is heading off to study at the SA College For Tourism.

Thabisile’s attitude towards life shows that she has always been a “force to be reckoned with” in her studies. She stated that in her academic years, she would always be in position “one” from primary school to high school. Thabisile recently graduated and obtained certificates in International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL), English (with Distinction) and Hospitality.

Thabisile is also a qualified Social Worker. She stated that she always dreamt of becoming a Social Worker;  but after studying at HDLC, the universe has taken her on a slightly different journey.

“Being a student at HDLC was an opportunity of a lifetime for me because I knew that I had to work twice as hard because I was not paying any cent towards my studies. I did not know that self-discipline would pay off; and my acceptance to SACT is proof of that,” said Thabisile.

This will be the second time in Thabisile’s life that she will travel outside of Mpumalanga province. “I love traveling but the sad truth is that I have gone out of Mpumalanga province only once on a short trip to Gauteng; and this opportunity is such a blessing for me because I will travel across many provinces this time,” giggled Thabisile.

Helen was born in Croquetlawn, Bushbuckridge. She was born into a family of six, in which she is the third born. Helen comes from a family of entrepreneurial spirit: both of her parents are street vendors who have sold fastfood throughout their lives to provide for their children. That inspiration has instilled a strong sense of independence in Helen as she aims to become her own boss one day. Helen is also clearly a people person – that smile says it all, and hospitality is a career that she looks forward to conquering. At HDLC, Helen has completed 109 hospitality modules across four subject areas.


Helen completed 109 modules in hospitality across four subject areas. Now she is going to SACT, to study for a certificate in Small Accommodation Establishment Operations.

“Before I studied hospitality, I had no clue of how coffee is produced. But now I can tell you everything from how it‘s grown to its final production.”

Helen shares Thabisile’s sentiments: she became interested in an opportunity in the Eastern Cape and decided to take a “leap of faith” by applying for the bursary, and now she’s “there”.

When asked about what her goals are as she is now about to head off to Graaff-Reinet, Helen said: “I want to become a respected businesswoman. I want to own a restaurant and a coffee shop in the very near future. I want to be my own boss.”

“It’s necessary to give people a digital education but we cannot stop there. We have to see potential in young people and then connect them to opportunities that we are confident will suit them. This is a game-changer for these two young ladies; and words cannot explain how proud we are”, said Kate Groch, GWF CEO.

Written by Mpho Lebyane. Created by the Good Work Foundation Media Academy.