Government Bursaries in South Africa

Posted on :

1 Jun, 2011

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Bursaries in South Africa, Government Jobs in South Africa

South Africa is home to many world-class universities and colleges, and you’re smart and want to get ahead in life. How are you going to pay for your studies? Studying is an expensive undertaking. You can expect to pay between R10 000 and R20 000 for each year of undergraduate study at a South African university. Specialized or professional degrees, such as medicine, can cost much more.

South Africa also has a wide range of private colleges, where tuition fees can be higher than at the subsidised public institutions.

Be sure to consider your options before deciding how to pay for your studies, and apply for any award or bursary for which you’re eligible.


Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr: Scroll right down to the bottom of their careers webpage to find out details about their bursary program.
Webber Wentzel: Have scholarship opportunities for individuals.
Grant Thornton: Has a straight forward bursary online application form that an individual can complete.
BDO Spencer Steward: has bursary offering for students registering or currently studying for career as a Chartered Accountant.
Deloitte: Check out their bursary and scholarship offerings.
Auditor General South Africa: is targeted at individuals currently studying or intending to study towards a chartered accountancy career.
PWC: Have bursary offerings targeted at scholars and students.
Harmony: Have an entire website dedicated to their bursary offerings.
SASOL: Also have a website dedicated to their bursaries…( says: Cool beans!)
Columbus Stainless Steel: Under their section title people, click on the directory career opportunities and scroll to the bottom of the webs page to find out details of their bursary offerings.
EVRAZ Highveld Steel and Vanadium: Targets their bursary offering at the engineering field.
Eskom: If you interested in electricity this is the bursary for you!
Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats): Offers bursaries in the fields of Engineering, Geology and Chemistry.
Mintek: Have full breakdown of their bursary offering.
Various fields-
Vodacom: has a bursary scheme that has been running for a number of years now.
Liberty Life: Offer a bursary targeted at the Actuarial Science field.
Old Mutual: Have a various number of bursaries on offer.
The South African Institute of Race Relations: Yes, there is such an institution! ( says, pretty cool!). Check out their bursary offerings.
Allan Gray: Check out the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation!
Anglo American: targeted at graduates and students, the company offers both scholarships and bursaries.
Epilepsy South Africa: Has a bursary program to help aid people with epilepsy to study at tertiary level.
PPS: Offers both a scholarship and bursary scheme.
The Foundation for Professional Development: Offers scholarships targeted at the health sector.
ABSA: For a bursary in the banking industry!
National Student Financial Aid Scheme: A government backed initiative to education the nation.
Organizations dedicated to student and study funding in South Africa:
Career Wise:
Study Trust:
The Bursary Institute of SA:

PPS Bursaries
Bursaries – Education is crucial to growing capacity and achieving sustainability – both in society and in business. It is in this sector that PPS can make a difference. PPS awards up to 10 bursaries annually, to the value of R15,000 each, on the condition that the student is promoted to the next year of academic study. These funds are made available for tuition fees and books. Bursaries are awarded on financial need basis.Scholarship –Every year, PPS awards a Scholarship valued at R40,000, to a student with exceptional academic results. The award covers tuition fees and books, as well as accommodation and allowance.  Scholarship is awarded based on academic merit.
To be eligible for the PPS Scholarship or Bursaries Award, you need to be:
-Registered at a South African university
-Registering for at least your 4th year of study or post-graduate study in 2010
-Studying for a profession, which on qualification, would be eligible for PPS membership (e.g. medicine, law, dentistry, accountancy, engineering, M.Tech, D.Tech…etc)
-A citizen or permanent resident of South Africa or Namibia
Application for 2011 will open on 1 August 2010.  Visit the Social Investments section of the PPS website (  for all the details.
If you need a financial adviser, call 0861 PPS 121, email [email protected], for immediate assistance.

The month of June marks the intrepid protests lead by youth 34 years ago for the right to a better education, an indelible act that catalysed the socio-political transformation of South Africa.
Today’s youth, if armed with the better education their fore runners sought as well as with entrepreneurial skills, will lead the economic transformation of Southern Africa. This is according to Anthony Farr, CEO of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.
Though celebrating 16 years of democracy, South Africa is still shackled by the economic legacies of the previous dispensation such as high levels of unemployment and poverty. For the youth in particular, access to affordable quality education remains an impediment to employment opportunities and economic freedom.
“The country is not in short supply of bright, gifted young people who have the potential to drive economic transformation,” says Farr. “However, these future leaders require access to adequate education as well as an induction into an entrepreneurial way of thinking,” he continues.
This is the objective of the Foundation, which aims to bolster job creation and alleviate poverty by harnessing the power of pioneering, young bright minds with enough entrepreneurial and leadership potential to positively impact our collective future.
Through one of its flagship initiatives, the Allan Gray Fellowship programme, the Foundation aims to develop students, known as Allan Gray Fellows, into South Africa’s future high Impact leaders and entrepreneurs.
The programme provides scholarships for young people to study towards degrees at the country’s top universities. Also provided is comprehensive financial support as well as access to a cutting-edge Entrepreneurial Development Programme.
Once graduated, Allan Gray Fellows that have excelled have access to funding for postgraduate studies and following some years of work experience, also have the opportunity to apply for start-up capital for viable high growth business ideas as approved by E2 (Allan Gray Limited’s empowerment vehicle).
“The long-term objective of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is to contribute to a more prosperous integrated South Africa as a result of job creation and economic development,” says Farr.
The economic transformation Farr refers to is not about the accumulation of wealth. It is about achieving economic equity through providing access to education and inculcating an entrepreneurial mindset in the future leaders of tomorrow. The impact of this will not only be felt by a selected few in our society but by the country as a whole.
About the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation is the social responsibility initiative of the Allan Gray and Orbis Groups in South Africa. It is funded annually by a donation of a minimum of 7% of the taxed profits of the Allan Gray Group, which has committed to making this donation to the Foundation in perpetuity. As profits may fluctuate, this commitment is backed up by a capital endowment of over R1 billion donated by Mr Allan WB Gray, the founder of the Allan Gray and Orbis Groups.

South Africa is home to many world-class universities and colleges, and you’re smart and want to get ahead in life. How are you going to pay for your studies?
Studying is an expensive undertaking. You can expect to pay between R10 000 and R20 000 for each year of undergraduate study at a South African university. Specialised or professional degrees, such as medicine, can cost much more.
South Africa also has a wide range of private colleges, where tuition fees can be higher than at the subsidised public institutions.
Be sure to consider your options before deciding how to pay for your studies, and apply for any award or bursary for which you’re eligible.
University financial aid
If you have already enrolled at a university, or are considering doing so, their financial aid office should be your first stop.
Most universities offer bursaries or grants to students that have excelled in their previous studies or on the sports field.
Check with your university’s financial aid office whether you are eligible for any of these bursaries or awards, and make sure that you apply before the closing date.
National financial aid
If you are a South African citizen you may be eligible for a National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) loan for study at one of the country’s public higher education institutions. The NSFAS, a statutory body funded by the Department of Education, provides study loans to academically able but financially needy students.
Much of an NSFAS loan can be converted into a bursary, which does not then need to be repaid, depending on one’s academic progress. A 100% pass rate would result in a 40% bursary rebate on an NSFAS loan.
The size of the initial NSFAS loan ranges from R2 000 to R30 000. You should apply at your university’s financial aid office.
External bursaries
Many South African companies offer bursaries to promising students.
The terms of these bursaries vary tremendously. Contract bursaries require you to “pay back” the bursary by working at the company once you’ve completed your degree – giving you a job and work experience immediately after your graduation. Many mining and engineering companies, in particular, provide contract bursaries.
The Bursary Register, available at most high schools and at your university’s financial aid office, will provide you with a full list of bursaries available in your particular field.
Student loans
All of South Africa’s major banks offer student loans, both to South Africans and to non-South Africans with valid study permits. Bank loans, unlike NSFAS loans, will also cover studies at a private institution.
When applying for a bank loan, you will have to show proof of registration at an educational institution. You’ll also need somebody, such as a parent or guardian, to sign surety for you.
Although you will only need to start repaying your bank loan once you’ve completed your studies, you will need to keep up the interest payments throughout the term of the loan.
Paying your own way
You can also choose to pay your own way. By taking a year off to work before studying, or by working part-time while pursuing your studies, you can gain valuable work experience while earning to finance your degree.
You’ll have to be disciplined, however, to make sure that you set aside enough time for both your studies and your work, and to make sure that you don’t fall behind in either.

The Western Cape Businesswomen’s Association, the leading network for businesswoman in the Western Cape, has awarded its 2009 bursary to Catherine Day, who is currently completing her MBA at the UCT Graduate School of Business.
The bursary is awarded annually to a candidate who is excelling as a woman in business and who has potential to give back to other women.
To be eligible the candidate must be a post-graduate student and a South African citizen who is studying at a recognised Western Cape tertiary institution and pursuing a relevant business degree.
Elspeth Donovan, BWA member and Development Director with Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, was involved in the bursary selection process and said that Day was chosen out of 16 other potential candidates.
“Day met all the general criteria, but she stood out because she showed great confidence and commitment, wanted to develop her expertise so that she could be a valuable asset to business and society in general in South Africa and she was also very passionate about what we at the BWA do and was eager to become a member.”
“We at the BWA were also confident that the work she does in the future will have a positive impact on other women’s lives,” explained Donovan.

Day, who already has her Honours in Business Science from the University of Cape Town, says that she was delighted in hearing the news that she would receive the bursary.
“When I first heard about the bursary I was extremely interested and immediately applied, not only because the bursary helps to pay for your studies, but also because you are simultaneously welcomed as a BWA member, which in itself is a fantastic opportunity,” said Day.
Day has spent the last six years working in financial services in London as a management consultant and more recently for Lehman Brothers, where she was an associate in the equities division.
“I am excited to see what new challenges will come my way following the MBA, and I am confident that being a member of the BWA will help my future career aspirations greatly,” she added.
Ferose Oaten, BWA President for the Western Cape, explained that the BWA has been awarding bursaries to deserving women since 1988 and manages to raise the funds for the bursary every year through the profits from the Regional Business Achievers Awards dinner.
“The amount is not always the same, but it is always substantial because our members inevitably have big hearts,” she says “Day has put the money to good use and we look forward to seeing her become a success in business – many of our previous recipients have become valuable members of the BWA and business world” said Oaten.


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