News & Events

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Investec Pleased With Golden Key Talent

Six Golden Key members will trade their campuses for the Investec Head Office in January 2006. Lionel Siziba, Ruvashen Padayachee, Jehdene Pillay and Sifiso Ngobesi are all from the University of the Witwatersrand and they will join the Group Risk division. Karabo Seima from the University of Pretoria and Ben Salomon from the University of Johannesburg were recruited by the Treasury and Specialised Finance division.

Lionel Siziba is determined to make the most of this opportunity: "Golden Key has unlocked an opportunity to explore investment banking and entrepreneurship at Investec. To me, this means endless possibilities in the corporate world. I couldn't be more grateful for the privilege to be a member of this prestigious Society."

Golden Key would like to congratulate these students and wish them all the best for a bright future.

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NMMU Golden Key Members on Leadership & Cultural Exchange Programme

3 Golden Key members from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) will soon be heading for the United States on a leadership and cultural exchange programme.  Carlien Jooste, Mariska Venter and Zoher Halai will form part of a group of 15 students to participate in the programme during June/July 2006.

The Trent Lott Leadership Institute of the University of Mississippi, USA, recently partnered with NMMU to offer a five week leadership programme to students from both institutions.   The NMMU Chapter of Golden Key was specifically asked to advertise this programme to its members, because the programme was looking for university students that have distinguished themselves as leaders academically and socially.

The 15 students from NMMU, along with 15 students from the University of Mississippi, will spend two and a half weeks in the United States and two and a half weeks in South Africa.  This programme is indeed a huge privilege to all students, and will allow those who participate to learn from one another academically, personally and professionally.  Carlien Jooste is determined to make the most of this opportunity: “We would also like to network with the Golden Key members at the University of Mississippi while we are over there”. 

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Golden Key Welcomes Prof Derrick Swartz

Professor Derrick Swartz is the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

In an interview with the media Prof Swartz said he sees NMMU playing a major role in boosting urban economy through the transfer of technological skills.

Swartz, formerly vice-chancellor of Fort Hare University, took over the reins from Dr Rolf Stumpf, who led the university's merger in 2005.

"We must create conditions for new people to come in. We can do that by staff development, recruitment and creating a multicultural environment."

Golden Key wishes him all the best in his new appointed leading role.

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We’ve got sprit, yes we do!

With the cry of Vuvuzela’s and a heartfelt interpretation of “Hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu”, the South African delegation won both the Cheer Award and the Most Spirited Region Award at the Golden Key International Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona this year (10 – 13 August 2006).

South Africa was proudly represented by 16 students who, in turn, represented no less than 10 universities in South Africa.  The group was accompanied by two Chapter Advisors, Prof. Charl Cilliers from Stellenbosch University and Mr Horst Bütow from North-West University.  The South African delegates made good use of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by showcasing the country’s rich cultural diversity and reaching out to fellow Golden Key members from around the world.

The theme of the conference, “Energize, Enrich, Engage” was clearly reinforced throughout the event and everyone returned home with a new sense of excitement for Golden Key in South Africa.The photo shows the South African booth at the International Expo.  A big thanks to SA Tourism for sponsoring the materials!

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A Dream, a Motorcycle and a Map…

It began with a dream to explore Africa.  Then it became a passion to teach others about the continent and its people.
Shayne Vervoort joined Golden Key in 2004 as a result of his excellent academic achievement in Actuarial Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch. He has been accepted to continue his studies at the prestigious Nyenrode Business University in Breuklen, Holland in 2007.  But Shayne is not getting on a plane…

On 1 February 2007, Shayne was cheered on by a crowd of grade 8’s as he left his Alma Mater, Pretoria Boys High, to embark on a motorcycle trip through Africa.  His aim?  To travel through 12 African countries in 98 days and report on his journey by posting diary entries and educational facts on his website and in various national newspapers.

Shayne is a proud South African with a passion for Geography.  We believe that, through his regular diary entries, children in South Africa would be able to learn more about their continent.  The use of interactive media in the classroom will also be encouraged.  In schools where this infrastructure does not exist, Shayne’s newspaper articles will enrich the Geography curriculum.

Moreover, Shayne’s adventure will encourage young South Africans to dream big and to take bold steps to realise their dreams.

You can track Shayne’s progress by clicking on .

We wish him a safe journey!

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SA Conference 2006

“Vineyard of Talent”, Golden Key’s 5th National Conference in South Africa, took place in Stellenbosch this month (15 – 17 September 2006).  About 90 delegates, representing 11 universities, gathered in Stellenbosch to celebrate excellence and to learn from each other. 

The conference kicked off with an address by Alex Perwich, Golden Key’s CEO.  He challenged the delegates to find their own definition for “success” by sharing some of his personal experiences.  The cold and wet weather did not keep the delegates from participating in a Drum Café session and Stellenbosch-style “Spitbraai” (not to mention the “Sokkie”!).

Saturday was packed with workshops ranging from “Action-Centred Leadership” to “Entrepreneurship” and “Creative Writing”.  Chapters had the opportunity to showcase their education-focused service projects at the Literacy Lunch, where Travis Gale (Associate: AppleTree/Step One) shared some inspirational insights that he gained from his “around-the-world” bicycle tour.

The conference concluded with an African Feast at Moyo (Spier Wine Estate), sponsored by Standard Bank.  At this event, Richard Gush (Director: Investment Banking, Standard Bank), encouraged delegates to keep a healthy work-life balance.

Delegates returned home with a new sense of purpose: “Overall it was an enriching experience, urging us to think more, work harder and reach for the stars” - Marghreette Klink, UWC.

Some highlights of the conference:
New SA Member of the Council of Student Members (SA CoSM)

At the conference, Charmaine Malcher of the University of Johannesburg was elected as the new CoSM for Golden Key in South Africa.  Charmaine will serve in this position until September 2007.

She can be contacted at email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it
Global Bylaws



The Council of Student Members (CoSM) shall serve in accordance with the Society’s bylaws, Policies and Board of Directors mandate as an advisory body to the International Staff and International leadership Council regarding student member matters.

The primary purpose of the CoSM is to serve as a resource on a variety of Society issues, ideas and initiatives.  The CoSM serves the Society at the international level.

Other purposes may include:

1. serving on ad hoc work groups and task forces to address issues of significant importance to the Society; i.e.: student member benefits and services development, international conference planning, partner or alumni development, strategic planning input, etc;

2. assisting the Golden Key International Staff in the implementation of conferences, specific programs, activities and initiatives; and,

3. serving as an additional communication channel for chapter leaders and student members, as required.
Chapter Awards

Best Education Focused Service Project:   University of the Free State
Best Country-Specific Initiative:                University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
Best Communication Programme:            University of the Free State
Best Membership Drive:                          Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award: R72 000

Congratulations to Tinus Stander of the University of Stellenbosch, who is the first SA student to win a Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award (US$10 000)!

Read more about Tinus at .

Student Leader of the Year Award: R5 000
Congratulations to Laura Maureen Pereira of the University of the Witwatersrand!  Laura joined Golden Key in 2004 and has been actively involved ever since.  She holds a BSc degree in Zoology and Biology (Cum Laude) and is currently completing her BSc Honours degree.  Laura is a master in the art of multi-tasking and managed to maintain her excellent academic results while serving on the Wits SRC, Golden Key Executive Committee and many other facets of student life.

Advisor of the Year Award: R5 000
Congratulations to Dr Derek Swemmer of the University of the Witwatersrand!  Dr Swemmer, the Registrar of Wits, has been a Golden Key Advisor since 2002.  Over the past couple of years, he has made significant contributions to furthering Golden Key’s mission at his university, in South Africa and internationally.  His approach to “Advising” is to lay a good foundation and then to give students the creative freedom to implement, while maintaining an open-door policy.  He has also recently been elected to serve on the Golden Key International Board of Directors.

Community Service Initiative  

Golden Key’s strategic community service focus is LITERACY.

As part of the Community Service Initiative for the SA Conference 2006, we asked each Chapter to donate books and stationary to support the new library that the Stellenbosch Chapter started at PC Pietersen Primary School in Kylemore.  The response was overwhelming and the library literally DOUBLED in size! We would like to thank our Chapters for their generous contributions.

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Golden Key Congratulates - Gerda Odendaal

Gerda Odendaal, a student at the University of Stellenbosch, has received the ATKV study bursary of R20 000.00. She is a Golden Key Member since 2005 and currently completing her Honours degree in Afrikaans. In 2005 and 2006 she was the top student in the following language modules: German, General Language Science, Afrikaans and Dutch. Golden Key wishes Gerda all the best with her studies.

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UFS Chapter, Bloemfontein Zoo Visit

14 Children visited the Zoo on a 3 hour outing. 5 Mothers and 2 CHOC members (Linda and Nicolene with the Rag Queen) and 5 members from the Golden Key University of the Free State Chapter who was volunteer helpers.

It was a successful and educational event which ended up with smiles on every attendee’s face. Thank you all who helped making a difference.

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International Conference Update

Golden Key South Africa had a wonderful time in Orlando, Florida attending the Golden Key International Conference. Besides all the networking, workshops, events and service projects – Golden Key South African representatives were named winners of the following:

Congratulations to Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar at Wits, Advisor since 2001 and serves on the Board of Directors – Winner of the ILC President's Award,  Golden Key’s highest individual honour award (read more on this award under the Awards tab)

Congratulations to our South African chapters who participated in the CitizenSHIP Showcase Expo.

1st place        North-West University with Community Service and                                    Membership Drive

2nd place       University of Cape Town with Golden Key University of                                     Cape Town 2009 Projects

3rd place        University of Pretoria with Pretoria Service Projects 2009

Thank you to these chapters as well as other chapters who also participated and represented their universities at this international event: University of the Western Cape, University of Johannesburg, the University of Stellenbosch and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University..

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