The Vincent Tshabalala Education Trust launched in Alexandra on the 24th of September 2004 has been set up to assist learners who have financial limitations in their quest to further their studies. The trust has been named after Vincent Tshabalala, a founder of the Alexandra Youth Congress (AYCO) and member of the ANC military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe, who died in a battle with the apartheid police in Alexandra in 1985.
Speaking at the launch, Paul Mashatile, the Gauteng MEC for Finance and Economic Affairs, said the main aim of the Education Trust is to contribute to the education and skills of the people of Alexandra. "With the help of the trust we want the youngsters to get educated, so that they can help transform our community. We know many of our people are poor, so this trust will complement other initiatives such as the ARP to make sure that together we can create maximum impact."
"It is an honour for all of us to have dedicated scholars. Let us work together to ensure that we can achieve the ideals of Vincent Tshabalala, as he didn't want to follow, but take the lead,” he said.
Community leader and member of Parliament, Obed Bapela, said that those who are educated must plough back into the community. "Alexandra is one of the areas where there is a high level of unemployment. If we are to achieve the goals of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, we need to start appreciating initiatives like this (education trust)." Mongane Wally Serote, a renowned poet and CEO of the Freedom Park Trust, praised Tshabalala for his role in the liberation struggle. "Today we are gathered to pay tribute, honour and commemorate one of the gallant fighters and the ideas and convictions that he stood for, must guide us in what we do."
The Trust will among other things award bursaries to the top five financially disadvantaged matriculants in Alexandra and sponsor two financially disadvantaged grade 8 pupils through to completion of their high school education.