13 incredible scholarships and bursaries that are open to South Africans right now

 ·7 Mar 2019

Sasol recently opened applications for its corporate bursary programme.

High-performing mathematics and science learners currently in Grade 12 are invited to apply for the all-inclusive bursary to study engineering, science and accounting degrees at approved public universities and universities of technology.

Sasol’s bursary programme—which has run for more than three decades—covers bursars’ tuition fees, accommodation, meals, textbooks and pocket money.

Bursars receive allowances for study tools such as laptops and calculators.

Other unique benefits include:

  • 100% of the prescribed university tuition fees, registration fees and exam fees;
  • An amount equal to the average rate for accommodation in a single room at a university residence at the university at which the Sasol bursar is studying. This rate is determined by Sasol in conjunction with the university;
  • An amount for meals based on three meals per day, as determined by the university;
  • An amount of approximately R12,000 per annum, towards book and pocket money;
  • Postgraduate students receive a monthly allowance around R10,000 for the duration of their studies (24 months Masters Degree and 36 months PhD degree).

While Sasol stands out for its long-running, all-inclusive bursary, there are a number of other companies and institutions who also have open spots in their current programmes.

BusinessTech looked at some of these scholarships and bursaries below.

Allan Gray

The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation offers high school scholarships to learners who are in financial need, have a curious, entrepreneurial mindset and the potential to excel academically.

Scholarship recipients, known as Allan Gray Orbis Scholars, receive funding for high school, in addition, to access to support and programmes to develop their entrepreneurial talents.

The scholarship covers the following:

  • Full tuition and boarding fees;
  • A monthly allowance (pocket money);
  • A travel subsidy;
  • Stationery and prescribed books;
  • Toiletries, school uniforms and casual clothing;
  • Support for extra-mural activities.

You can find out more here.

Ernst & Young

EY recently opened its bursary programme for students planning to study towards a Chartered Accountant (SA) qualification at a SAICA accredited university.

Bursaries will be awarded to persons who the firm believes have the commitment to qualify as a Chartered Accountant (SA), have an academic record which indicated the ability to do so and with due regard to financial need.

The incumbents will be required to serve their 3-year training contract (as required by SAICA to qualify as a CA(SA)) with the company.

EY also has separate bursary and vac opportunities at both its Cape Town and Johannesburg offices here.


Eskom currently offers bursary schemes to assist capable students to acquire good education which is essential for a better future.

It also offers scholarships exclusively to Eskom employees/dependents.

The full bursary covers:

  • Registration Fees;
  • Tuition Fees;
  • Residence or Accommodation Fees;
  • MealsBook Allowance;
  • PC Allowance;
  • Vacation Allowance and Accommodation.

You can find out more about the programme here.

Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The US Embassy recently announced that applications for the 2020-2021 Fulbright Foreign Student Program are now open.

This world-renowned program offers scholarships to South Africans interested in pursuing a Master’s or Doctoral degree at any accredited tertiary institution in the United States.

The scholarships cover up to the full cost of tuition and living expenses in the US.

Applications close on April 19, 2019, but applicants are encouraged to start the application process as soon as possible.

Highly-motivated South Africans wishing to pursue a Master’s degree must have completed a four-year B-Tech degree or a three-year Bachelor’s degree with an Honors degree.

You can find more details here.

International scholarships

The Department of Higher Education and Training keeps an updated list of international scholarships open to South Africans.

The majority of scholarships are for postgraduate (masters, doctoral and postdoctoral) studies, however, a small number of undergraduate (bachelor’s degree) scholarships are available.

Some of the stand-out scholarships include:


KPMG has two major bursary options available to South African students.

The Pure Merit Bursary is open to students who do not require extensive funding for their studies.

By comparison, the Merit Bursary with Financial Needs is open to students who require significant funding, without which they could not attend university.

You can find out more about the bursaries as well as the application forms here.


Hatch recently opened applications for its bursary programmes. These include bursaries for:

  • Civil engineering;
  • Electrical engineering;
  • Mechanical engineering;
  • Chemical engineering;

You can find out more about each bursary on the company’s jobs page.

Murray & Roberts

Murray & Roberts offers bursaries for top South African achievers.

Bursaries are available for students studying towards a BSc, BEng or B Tech qualifications in the fields of Engineering (civil, mechanical, industrial, electrical and mining), Quantity Surveying and Building/Construction Management.

It should be noted that as of 2016 the company no longer offers online applications and interested students should instead contact their faculty for more information.

You can find out more about the programme here.

Old Mutual

Old Mutual currently offers a range of scholarships, internships and bursaries to South African school leavers.

These include:

  • Actuarial bursaries – Includes full tuition, accommodation with meals, general and book allowance. Travel allowance (where applicable) and incentives for good performance. Academic and emotional support, good networking opportunities and vacation work from the second year.
  • Accounting bursaries – Old Mutual Accountancy Bursaries cover the costs of tuition at University of Cape Town (UCT), residence fees and one annual return flight home for students who are not studying in their hometown.
  • The Amathuba learnership – in-house training in a variety of skills for matriculants with no previous work experience.

You can read more about all the opportunities on offer here.


SAB awards awarding academic bursaries to talented and deserving South African students.

Bursary focus areas change from year to year and are impacted by the South African skills market and the SAB business need.

In addition to financial support, bursars are afforded the opportunity to learn more about the world of work by participating in the resolution of real business challenges, through structured summer school or vacation work. SAB expects its bursars to maintain high academic standards and exemplary behavioural conduct during their years of study.

After the successful completion of their degrees, our bursars join the company full time as graduate trainees.

The company also offers learnerships, a CA training programme and a graduate programme.

Standard Bank

Standard Bank currently offers a number of bursary option to a range of South Africans.

These include:

  • The Standard Bank Africa Derek Cooper scholarship;
  • The Standard Bank CSI bursary programme;
  • The Standard Bank Group 150 bursaries.

You can read more about the programmes here.


The Stanlib Bursary Sponsorship Programme gives academically outstanding and previously disadvantaged students the opportunity to study at any public university in South Africa.

Students studying towards a degree for the following qualifications are urged to apply for funding:

  • Actuarial Sciences
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Investment Management
  • Accounting

You can find out more about the programme here.


Telkom offers full-time bursaries for undergraduate studies in identified core fields, namely: Electrical Engineering (Light Current) Information Technology, / Computer Science Marketing, and Accounting.

It also offers post-graduate bursaries to candidates who continue their studies and research via the Telkom Centres of Excellence (COE) programme.

You can find out more here.

Read: Sasol’s insane bursary is now open to candidates – here’s what it includes

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