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Most expensive schools in South Africa

Most expensive schools in South Africa

With an annual fee of R209,000, Hilton College in Kwa-Zulu Natal is South Africa’s most expensive private school.

The all-boys boarding school, located near Hilton in the KZN Midlands, was founded in 1872 and sits on an over 1,700 hectare piece of land, which includes its own wildlife reserve.

Hilton, along with MichaelHouse, the second most expensive private school in the country, are of the only remaining schools that are pure boarding schools, that do not offer day student education.

MichaelHouse is also located in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal.

So what will R209,000 at Hilton College get you? Aside from the prestigious location and tradition, the fees cover tuition, board, games, ordinary medical attention, the use of the sanatorium, library and laundry.

It also includes basic entertainment which is arranged for all boys, games transport and simple mending materials.

The fees listed below are what parents can expect to pay for a full senior year at some of South Africa’s most elite private schools, including boarding, at the latest-available rates.

It most be noted that most schools do not include additional fees in this amount. Additional fees can typically relate to various levies, such as IT and infrastructure, as well as further costs for food, extra mural activities and trips.

Entry fees have been noted in the table below for institutions where it has been explicitly stated.

Hilton College – R209,000 – KZN Midlands

Hilton College

Hilton College

MichaelHouse – R192,000 – KZN Midlands



St Martins – R184,460 – Johannesburg

St Martins

St Martins

St Andrews College – R182,700 – Grahamstown

St Andrews

St Andrews

Kearsney College – R181,350 – KZN Midlands

Kearsney College

Kearsney College

Roedean School for Girls – R181,140 – Johannesburg

Roedean School for Girls

Roedean School for Girls

St Alban’s College – R181,000 – Pretoria

St Alban's College

St Alban’s College

St Andrews School for Girls – R174,860 – Johannesburg

St Andrews School for Girls

St Andrews School for Girls

St Johns – R178,523 – Johannesburg

 St Johns

St Johns

St Mary’s School – Waverly – R173,700

Bishops – R168,140 – Cape Town



Somerset College – R167,736 – Somerset West

Somerset College

Somerset College

St Stithians – R166,691 – Sandton

St Stithians

St Stithians

St Mary’s DSG – R166,155 – Pretoria

St Mary's

St Mary’s

Kingswood College – R158,355 – Grahamstown

Kingswood College

Kingswood College

Diocesan School for Girls – R157,590 – Grahamstown

DSG School

DSG School

Herschel Girls’ School – R157,560 – Cape Town

Herschel School for Girls

Herschel School for Girls

The Wykeham Collegiate – R154,820 – Pietermaritzburg

The Wykeham Collegiate

The Wykeham Collegiate

Bridge House – R149,490 –  Franschoek

St Cyprians – R148,560 – Cape Town

St Cyprians

St Cyprians

St Anne’s Diocesan College – R146,200 – KZN Midlands

St Anne's

St Anne’s

Treverton College – R142,400 – KZN Midlands

Treverton College

Treverton College

SA’s most expensive private schools (Above R140,000)

School Annual Fee (Boarding) Annual Fee (Day) Entry Fee
Hilton College R209,000 N/A R52,250
MichaelHouse R192,000 N/A R24,000
St Martins R184,460 R71,460 R12,000
St Andrews R182,700 R81,600 R15,225
Kearsney College R181,350 R124,800 R17,400
Roedean School for Girls R181,140 R99,234
St Alban’s College R181,000* R102,900 R55,000
St Johns R178,523 R105,760 R61,348**
St Andrews School for Girls R174,860 R94,380
St Mary’s School for Girls R173,700* R92,450 R34,950**
Bishops R168,140 R96,360 R20,000
Somerset College R167,736* R89,904 R22,000
St Stithians R166,691 R96,119 R10,000
St Mary’s DSG R166,155* R90,630
Kingswood College R158,355 R82,920 R10,700
Diocesan School for Girls R157,590 R82,320 R35,200
Herschel Girls’ School R157,560* R78,960 R10,000
The Wykeham Collegiate R154,820* R83,500 R4,000
Bridge House R149,490* R81,680 R3,500
St Cyprians R148,560 R76,560 R7,500
St Anne’s School for Girls R146,200 R80,000 R34,000
Treverton College R142,400 R69,600 R5,000

* 2015 fees ** Refundable deposit

However, even South Africa’s most expensive schools don’t quite match up to the fees charged by private schools in the USA.

Lawrenceville, in New Jersey, charges upwards of $44,800 (over R500,000) per year for its education; with other private schools such as Salisbury School in Conneticut and Riverdale Country School and Birch Wathen Lenox School in New York, charging students around $43,000 per year.

The title of most expensive school in the world belong to Swiss school, Institut Le Rosey, which charges annual fees of over $120,000 (R1.35 million) – with royalty, monarchs and celebrities amongst some of its more notable alumni.

Are there any high-cost schools we missed? Please let us know in the comments.

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Quinton is a business and technology journalist who dabbles in media and graphic design. He holds a degree in Journalism from the University of Johannesburg....
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  • Lawrence

    Not great research. Missed Kearsney College in Bothas Hill, KZN. Around R190 000 per annum.

    • Thanks, we’ve added it to the list

    • Bex McCabe

      It’s on there 🙂 my bro went to Kearsney. Love love love their school grounds.

    • Greg Gow

      And an excellent school.

    • Greg Gow

      And this is an excellent school.

  • Muhammad

    Missed Somerset College in Somerset West. High school fees are close to R90k and boarding is another R77k

  • shnorkiller

    missed Treverton College also in midlands

  • kevrob

    St Albans College Pretoria R181,000 for Boarders, R102,900 for Day Boys. Deposit R55,000

  • ds

    The supposed photo of Bishops in this article is actually a school in Canada. Diocesan College, in Cape Town, has its website at bishops org za.

    • gk

      and the mountain in the background doesnt look familiar at all……..

      • ds

        The photo was replaced between the time when I commented and when you did.

        • Correct, the current photo is from Bishops itself. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • konfab aka derp

    Missing out St Stithians…
    R96,119 for day school
    R166,691 for boarding.


  • Sli

    The Wykeham Collegiate – R154 820

  • Truth

    What about the Crawford Schools?

    • Mac Anamourlis

      They’re in the R50k-R70k range

      • Crawford College Benmore starts at R109 000 p/a for Grade 8. I should know, I just paid the deposit.. (damn, I’m late for my second job!)

        • Mac Anamourlis

          Pretoria rates a lot cheaper then, but I also only know the 6th-8th grade prices

  • Trey

    So we’re not going to even touch the subject of how RIDICULOUS and OBSCENE these prices are?

    • konfab aka derp

      It doesn’t need discussion, all it needs is a quiet thank you to the parents who could have taken the cheaper route with their child’s education, but didn’t.

      • Papas28

        Cheaper route?

    • Guest

      Trey, with that initial message it seems your mind is pretty made up, so trying to justify them to you would be pointless.

      • Greg Gow

        There is nothing to justify. The education is actually no different than a top government school i.e. check out what Fourways High has to offer and it is a public model c type school.

        • The Company

          There is nothing to justify. I went to one of the schools listed above and when I got to university (UCT), I could see

          that some students from public model c type school in my course struggled to get the required marks. Not because they were “not smart” but simply because they were never trained to think systematically nor how to be solution-orientated.

          • Cawlidge

            Well I have two sons studying Law at Tuks and both went to a Govt, model C school in PMB. Both passing well and fitting in well. Two Pvt school friends of theirs have changed degrees because of failure in certain subjects and another failed completely. Can argue that both ways. Maritzburg College received a letter of thanks from the head of UCT thanking the school for preparing the boys so well for Varsity.

          • tg

            Totally agree. Private schools aren’t the silver bullet, but I must admit, they do provide a better chance. Things that I didn’t get from my private school that I could have possibly gotten in a private school: better sports facilities, more personal attention (we were 75 in class, plus minus), coaching sessions, such things, but basic education, grasping concepts and self-sufficiency, I didn’t need a “better school” for those

          • Papas28

            Maritzburg College my school. Thank you Cawlidge.

          • Cawlidge

            Paid R70 k a year for them. Full boarding.

          • MP

            I agree, my dad taught at a private school so I got that education at a discount, the biggest parallel I drew once at uni was more differences in approaches to work ethic and motivation. As the ‘staff kid’ from little old Grahamstown I went to school with the rich kids of Jhb everyday. They were spoilt in many ways, but the majority of them were more motivated to work hard than many model c school and public school counterparts at university…At the same time my friends from public or model c schools were often on my level or much stronger than me academically. It’s a choice made by people with the money. Right now I wouldn’t pay this much for my future children, but if Angie and SADTU continue on their destructive war path, the situation with public schools will be completely different in 15 years time, and I may reconsider.

          • Greg Gow

            That is some students, not all students. UCT apparently had a policy to let people in to get the correct demographic mix, not sure if that is still the case.

          • Greg Gow

            That is some students, not all students. UCT apparently had a policy to let people in to get the correct demographic mix, not sure if that is still the case.

          • tg

            I also saw some guys from private schools in my varsity days who really struggled, I’m sure you did too in UCT. Yes, private schools improve any child’s chances of making it, but public schools are not less than. All this ** about being trained to think systematically and solution oriented offends the bulk of us who weren’t as fortunate to go to fancy schools, yet made it rather distinctively through to our career paths. What prevails at the end of the day is character, and no private school or public school can give or take that away

          • Papas28


        • Anon

          Not true. And Fourways has all the issues of any other government school. Poor admin, poor student motivation and bad curriculumn.

          • Greg Gow

            What do you base your comment on? They had the top student in the Gauteng province which was across both private and public schools in 2012. If you do not have all the facts at hand it is difficult to make a comment, maybe that is the case here. All the universities jump at the opportunity to take Fourways matriculants as Fourways is one of the top schools in the country in terms of results. Many top professionals were schooled at schools like Fourways across the country. Yes granted there is a void in public schools that do not have access to the school facilities like the top model c schools in the country.

          • Anon

            1 exceptional student whose family subsequently pulled the other child from the school to go to a private school. A lot of the best students begin at fourways and then leave. Its reputation is better than the reality. Its been going downhill for years.

          • Greg Gow

            Not true the other child is in matric in Fourways High for 2015. My son that went to Fourways High and is in 5th year medicine at Wits which has been ranked in the top 10 medical schools in the world. My oldest daughter who finishes her first law degree this year at Tuks went to Fourways High. My youngest daughter is still at Fourways and is averaging 85% for the year to date.

          • Ali Cutty

            Okay, we get it, you’re a fan of Fourways High and your kids are ever so amazing.

          • Greg Gow

            You totally missed the point in the discussion chain, but thank you for noticing as per your comment. Now go and have another double diesel and coke.

          • Ali Cutty

            I didn’t miss any point old chap, just got tired of you going on and on about Fourways High and your amazing kids. Deal with it.

          • Greg Gow

            I made one comment about my children to make the point. I was not sarcastic or bad mannered while I was making the comment, I was dealing with facts. You however are very unhappy and bitter about something I see your other comments are the same. You may need a happy pill.

          • Ali Cutty

            You’ve made plenty of comments about Fourways High and you’ve spewed utter rubbish about private schools. Methinks you are the bitter and unhappy one. It’s funny how it’s always people like you (who don’t send their children to private schools) who have the most to say about private schools. Why is that?

          • Greg Gow

            Hey china you don’t know me so you don’t know what my involvement is or has been regarding private schools. I never once slated the private school system what I have said to people who have slated the public school system is that they cannot generalise. I compared Fourways High as a school that is a major performer in the public space. Furthermore I also mentioned that the Advtech group use the same matric exams as the public school system. You did not have your facts and you made an assumption before checking the whole comment string from my side. There is a definite place for the private system and the public is a must for the general population. The public system has schools that are as good as the private system. These schools are managed by strong management and strong governing body i.e. KES, Greys College, Collegiate. Affies, Pretoria Boys, Pretoria Girls, Paarl Boys, Paarl Gymnasium, Monument. Glenwood, Fourways, Northcliff, Helpmekaar etc. I reiterate I never slated private schools I came back with an example of schools that were as good as private schools and the example was Fourways.

          • Greg Gow

            What rubbish have I spewed I never commented negatively about private schools? Look back and check, you must be confusing me with someone else???

          • Greg

            QUIET NOW???

          • Ali Cutty

            I’m still watching you GREG GOW.

          • Greg

            That’s marvellous ALI CUTTY. You have not commented on my last comment where I raised the issue that I had never said or spewed any rubbish about private school. You just went very quiet. Why is that?

          • Ali Cutty

            No reason. Or, I have a life, I guess.

            Now go expose some corruption on twitter.

          • Greg

            It’s not a case of a life. You had the boldness to open your mouth you actually read all my comments. You said I spewed rubbish about private schools which was not the case at all. So china you either have to put them up or apologise.

          • Ali Cutty

            I don’t and I won’t.

          • Greg

            And what do you do in your space time?

          • Ali Cutty

            Mainly, I troll racists such as yourself.

          • Greg

            Why do you say I am a racist? I have not commented in that sort of way on this or any platform. That’s a wild accusation to make with no basis if you do not know who I am.

          • Ali Cutty

            Just going on the CRAP you have on your twitter feed GREG GOW.

          • Greg

            Yes facts that Julius Malema and my friend Pasco agree with and they must then also be classed a racist according to your definition.

          • Ali Cutty

            Ah, the old ‘I have black friends’ retort. Good for you GREG GOW.

          • Greg


          • Greg Gow

            You racist troll

          • Greg

            You want to meet one for real?

          • Ali Cutty

            A veiled threat…I thought that would be beneath you GREG GOW.

          • Greg

            No really?

          • Papas28

            This Ali whatever dude laways misses the point and he is not my fan.

          • Greg Gow

            He is running under an anonymous name and is basically troll

          • Rob

            I have read the comments here and Ali Cutty appears to rather not listen to both sides of the story. What school did you go to Ali? If it was a private school, then well done. If it was a public school then well done. At least you got an education. I am from the Western Cape and there are both excellent private and public schools and they have a place in society. I came from a previously disadvantaged past but will not use that to get any favours in life as you only get what you work for. Work hard and send your kids to a good school if you can’t afford the private tuition then find a good stable public school. They are out there.

          • Ali Cutty

            Wooly Bully for you.

          • Rob

            Thank you

          • Rob

            TROLL sorry DROLL you are a toss

          • Greg Gow

            Fourways High has a very active and strong governing body that don’t get unfairly pushed around by the education authorities.

        • Padi

          Greg, I am not familiar with Fourways High, but do they offer the following:
          A music school with access to sound proof rehersal rooms, digital recording studios, usage of any brass, wind or string instrument you can just about think of, lessons on any of these instruments and a music library? What about an orchestra, jazzband and choir that tours the country?
          A dance studio offering ballet, hip hop, modern dance to name a few, and dance as a matric subject?
          A design and technology centre offering facilities for woodwork, fashion design, graphic design, video editing?
          Sports such as rowing, golf and horse riding? Do they have an indoor swimming centre for year round training?
          Involvement in the National Arts Festival, Jazz Festival and Sasol Science Festival? Especially where students get the opportunity to perfrom?
          There are so many things I can ask, such as the variety of matric subjects Fourways High offers or the school tours offered. Maybe the education you recieve at a punlic school is just as good as that of a private school, but I personally feel that there were a lot of other benefits of going to one of the above mentioned schools. The opportunities that were made available and my experiences while there were equally as important as my education. Paying that amount of money is not just for an education, it is for something far greater than that.

          • Greg Gow


            Fourways High offers approximately 50 extra mural activities to cater for the whole school pupil leaning experience so that not a single individual is felt left out. The annual major production receives acclaim from external organisations and has also been stage in public theatres in the past. It is accompanied by a live orchestra. Fourways High has one of the only Astro Turfs for hockey in the area and the private schools try to hire the facilities but are not able to as this is for the Fourways pupils paid for by funds raised over many years.

          • GUY

            Padi your reasoning is pathetic …if you really want your child to do all these different activities eg soccer rugby music etc there are clubs you can take your kids to,so they may do the sport ……I really dont see the point of your kid doing dance as a subject in matric is defeats the point of education. dancing is a physical thing that you do ……in other words you saying kids interested in soccer should also do soccer studies as a matric subject.

        • Jason

          Consider the fact that private schools in South Africa study a different curriculum as the public schools. Private schools write ieb exams whereas public schools write gde exams. Therefore the standard of education is at a higher level in order to prepare kids for the harder ieb exams.

          • Greg Gow

            That is not correct the standard of the examinations are not different. The Crawford school group writes the same exam that the public schools write in matric. This applies with many private school groups.

          • Greg Gow

            Not all private schools

        • DionMathe

          thank U Greg Gow I would not pay more than R100.000 and He/She does not get IT educatinal programe
          I’M sorry I can’t do it ,while I still have to send my Kid to Univesity.

    • Mark

      Trey, with that initial message it seems your mind is pretty made up, so trying to justify them to you would be pointless..

  • ds

    Kingswood College in Grahamstown (like St Andrews and DSG) is also in the price range. Senior school boarding: R147k – R158k; day: R77k – R83k.


    • Chris de Klerk

      I can’t believe the school fees have more than doubled in 10 years. It was 75k in my matric year. Outrageous. Putting the kids idea on hold.

      • Warren

        An inflationary linked increase every year would pretty much get a 100% increase over ten years.

  • Derrick

    What a [email protected] up! LOL

  • thomas

    you missed St Benedict’s College in Johannesburg. boarding+fees = R135k

  • konfab aka derp
  • Chris

    There are also lots of St Mary’s – one in Pretoria (St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls – and St Mary’s in Waverley (Johannesburg Waverley not Pretoria Waverley – – both a which certainly qualify. There is also a St Mary’s DSG in Kloof KZN (

  • I paid roughly R42K for four years (around R168k in total) at UKZN in Durban for my degree + honours which included everything; Residence, money for meals, sports, books, all infrastructure (except one exclusive Gym) and tuition. And all those four years are less than one year at most of these schools. For lack of a more descriptive word, I’m flabbergasted.

    • konfab aka derp

      Remember, Universities are subsidised by government money.

      • Very true.. but I pray your indulgence, there is still quite a difference between 42k an 209k for one person for just a year..

    • Luthuli

      You can’t put in words or measure the value gained from being in the ‘top school’s’. Flabbergasted you may be, but if you can – I strongly recommend a no compromise approach to your Sons education. If you can’t Model C schools in this country are no let downs at all. Especially some Maritsburg and Durban based all boys Schools that I know.

  • Tracy

    St Alban’s fees quoted in the article are for 2015 and not 2014. 2014 fees are R165,300 for boarding and R93,960 for day scholars.

  • Chris

    I’m just going to say, I would rather send my kids to a good semi private school, Grey High PE being my first choice, being from PE, which if I’m correct is about R20-25k (I may be mistaken) a year, plus boarding which could push this up to R80k (which I very much doubt, but for arguments sake), then say I’m comparing it to say for example St Andrews which is R182k a year, that would mean I could, if I could afford put R100k a year away every year for 5 years, with lets say 10% growth I would have well over R600k and that’s being conservative. That takes care of any university, and even a flat/vehicle.

    • Alex Tarr

      That’s probably a sensible way to budget in general. I presume that the people who use these schools are able to still afford those things over and above the annual fees. But of course if you had to choose between just an education at one school on one hand, and an education at another school plus university plus accommodation/transport, your approach is hands down the preferable one.

  • Anne

    Kingsmead College..Approximately R94000 for Grade 12

  • JB

    What about St. John DSG for girls in pmb and st Charles

    • Bex McCabe

      You’re right, was surprised to see that St Charles was not included. Great school, got lots of friends from there.

      • St John DSG has a total of R139,900, and St Charles is at R128,600. We’ve kept the listing at schools above R140,000 for spacing issues (there are A LOT of expensive schools out there).

  • What would be interesting is how many Master’s degrees or PhDs there are at these wonderful private schools… from my experience I haven’t seen many/any. It’s time EDUCATION took precedence over this elitist sensibility… Welcome to the Emperor’s New Clothes chaps…

    • Alex Tarr

      So where do you see the majority of those qualifications coming from? Just out of interest.

      • I mean how many of the teaching staff have these qualifications? I know there are a few who possess a Masters but this is not “the norm”… If I’m paying R150 000 and upwards I expect highly qualified teachers… As an aside I know a number of postgrad students from a broad range of backgrounds… private and public schools. In fact one astrophysicist (PhD) comes from Carter High School in Pmb.

        • Alex Tarr

          Ah OK so you’re saying two things, firstly that very few if any teachers at these schools have Masters or PhD degrees, and secondly that very few of the scholars that matriculate here go on to achieve that level of qualification either?

          On the first count, you’re probably quite correct. I’d be genuinely surprised if a Masters or PhD graduate ended up teaching at all, rather than lecturing where they would get research grants. Highly qualified teachers don’t necessarily have multiple degrees though, most of the time they are valued for their experience in the field. You don’t need a PhD in astrophysics to teach Matric Physics, and odds are you’d be unwilling to spend so much time investing in your own education only to end up in a post for which you are vastly overqualified.

          On the second count, if there is one, I’m sure a great many scholars from private schools go beyond Honours level, but if the ratio was not significantly different to scholars from public schools it wouldn’t surprise me. That’s not to say that they weren’t better educated though, they just made different career choices.

          • Yes to the first… And why shouldn’t a PhD or Masters graduate teach at the “best schools” in the country… they should be paid to teach there and rewarded for being qualified… surely that’s what being the best school is about… having the best teachers who are paid well to do the best job possible. These schools are charging R150 000 a year… surely they can pay their teachers? And FYI research grants certainly do not mean lecturers are rolling in the big bucks… they just like being at a University and having tenure.

            On the second no I’m not saying that… My original comment was the lack of postgrad qualifications held by the staff at schools… and then I merely commented that both public and private school kids excel at varsity. Equally some do not.

          • Alex Tarr

            I’m saying that “best teachers” doesn’t necessarily equal “teachers with most degrees”. I’d rather hire a teacher who’s had their Honours in physics for 30 years than a teacher who’s had their PhD in astrophysics for 5. Nobody’s saying they can’t pay their teachers, I’m saying why would they pay more than they need to for an overqualified candidate just because they’re overqualified. I’m surprised that you consider Masters and PhD qualifications to be indicators of quality in teachers. Do you know a lot of people who get PhDs and then teach at a High School? I don’t know any. Most of them invested in those qualifications so that they could work in academia (FYI research grants aren’t just a source of income they’re also a mechanism that funds research), or in the private sector on the cutting edge of their field or as close to it as they can get.

          • Dudge

            I think character is valued more in a teacher than a PHD. Especially if the teacher has leadership and sport coaching qualities. One of our teachers was Peter Steyn, an internationally reknown ornithologist. He lead an amazing group at school, in bird watching and falconry.

          • mattcredible

            Alex, you are arguing with somebody too far convinced that their opinion is the only opinion. All of the comments I’ve read from her are confrontational, immature and most importantly – very badly informed and ignorant of private education.

            Don’t be dragged further down to her level.

          • shei

            They are having a conversation. It’s okay to debate. Alex and Jaqui, I enjoyed reading your discussion. I went to a very expensive boarding school, so I see both sides. I didn’t school in S.A though. Kenya and U.S.

          • Ali Cutty

            She’s a lecturer in the film dept at UCT. Explains a lot…

          • Petar Stipanovic

            Mattcredible, these sort of people come out of the wood work when they hear that some one had a private education.

          • noxville

            I went to Hilton College (’06). For matric, our English teacher had a Masters, our Maths (and Advanced maths) teacher had a PhD, our Science teacher had a Honours degree (and was the IEB moderator for Chemistry), Biology teacher had a Honours (now the headmaster), Afrikaans teacher, Computer Science teacher and Accounting teacher had undergraduates + HDE’s.

          • Smith

            So your parents paid R500 000 for your education (+Another 500k I expect at the cafeteria) so that you could throw it away to cast Dota? Please explain how this education helped you in any way to progress in life because I really fail to see any ROI on your parents parts.

          • ANother3

            It’s rather unfortunate that you went to one of these top schools, with these apparently over-qualified teachers and didn’t learn when and how to use “an” vs “a” and you apostrophise plurals.

          • PeterR

            There are several flaws in your argument, many of which have already been addressed, so I will let them go. You seem to be making the assumption that the role of a school is to prepare young people for university. That is an erroneous assumption. Not all young people are able to cope with tertiary education. No school, no matter how expensive, could help them do that. By why should they have to? They can pursue career paths that don’t require a university degree and still be of equal value to society as those degreed few. The expectation that schools should provide high numbers of degreed individuals is itself an elitist expectation. The school’s job is not to prepare them for university any more than it is to prepare them for the workplace. The school’s job is to teach young people to learn, unlearn and relearn, so that whatever path they may choose – university or not – they may know how to acquire the necessary skills.

            Also, you equate a good teacher with an advanced degree. Teaching is not about imparting knowledge. One can have an advanced degree and be a terrible teacher. Teaching requires more than just knowing things. It requires one to be able to inspire young people to learn and think for themselves; it demands an ability to help people see their own potential and accept their own limitations, it requires high moral integrity, because it is about more than just knowledge, it is about character above all; it is about painting dreams and fostering hope, when often those in our care (even the wealthy ones) have abandoned hope altogether. If you think an advanced degree is the most impressive attribute of a good teacher, think again
            Another fact is that the vast majority of the private schools in this country are not catering for the wealthy and the white. The number of small private schools catering to the lower middle class is growing rapidly.
            Your statements are ill informed and prejudiced.

          • go public

            The private. School. Learners are only good with English. In my whole 9yrs as an engineer. I have never meet a engineer from. A PRIVATE. School

        • jim slice

          I know very well that you have not conducted any studies to back your accusation that private school staff members have fewer PhDs and Masters degrees than public school teachers.

          Take a look at the link I provided- the top 3 schools in the Western Cape, also happen to be on this list of expensive schools. You can say all you want- the numbers don’t lie.

        • Patrick

          Jaqui Hiltermann, You talk about encouraging equality. That is useless and almost communist in ideology. Eletists generally produce entrepreneurial LEADERS.

      • Lungi

        public schools

    • mattcredible

      What a load of rubbish. I know many teachers from these private schools that hold Masters degrees and Phd’s. Where did you get this experience you speak of? Again you’ve just spoken a load of nonsense.

      • Doctor

        I totally agree that we are all more or less equal at the University level. I went to a rural school in KZN and payed about R35/year for my school fees for my grade 12. I was the top student in a province with 7 distinctions (100% Maths and physics – HG) and I have a PhD now from Wits University. However, if I can afford, I will take all my kids to private schools because I totally believe they provide high quality education (well in most cases).

    • lauren

      I am from a Private school my dear with a great IEB education. I am no different to someone who was schooled in a public school nor do I believe I am. Its unfair and unjust to cut all private school educated individuals from the same cloth and assume we have some sort of chip on our shoulders just because our parents worked really hard to give us what we had. My mom worked two jobs to put us through private education she didnt just have money lying around like you have implied. At university however we are all the same private school or not, I studied with plenty people not from private schools and they were incredible people. I DO in fact have a Masters degree and I am now a Doctor. Why dont you as a lecturer do some quality RESEARCH and prove your theory correct or incorrect before making comments that have no proof or value.

      • Doctor

        I totally agree with you that we are all more or less equal at the University level. I went to a rural school in KZN and payed about R35/year during for my grade. I was the top student with 7 distinctions (100% Maths HG) and I have a PhD now from Wits University. However, if I can afford, I will take all my kids to private schools because I totally believe they provide high quality education (in most cases).

        • mattcredible

          You, are my favourite commentator on this thread. Well done for achieving all you have and especially for being a “Witsy”. Kudos!

      • Patrick Leclezio

        Agreed on all counts Lauren, but there’s a significant percentage of past pupils (and present I’m sure) from certain private schools – all featuring on this list – who really do believe in their heart of hearts that they’re better than others less educationally privileged simply because of their attendance at these schools. I’ve come across this attitude again and again – sometimes brazen, sometimes more subtle. It may be a function of their upbringing, but I suspect that these schools inculcate a sense of superiority. I don’t want to paint everyone with the same brush – it’s unfair as you’ve rightly pointed out – but this is a prevalent scenario. You must have heard this old joke: how do you know if someone went to _ (insert Hilton, Michaelhouse, Bishops…)? They’ll tell you. Enough said.

    • Ludjer

      Jaqui Hiltermann you are very ignorant in life if you think masters and PhD’s = successful. Very limited scope of thinking. I currently dont have a undergrad going through unisa. Yet i earn 5x more then people with pst grad degrees… I look at my self as very successful. I went to one of the above schools and by the age of 16 i was already making on average 6k a month in contract work that i did part time. I got extra lessons from my IT teacher on programming cause he saw i was a very hungry for more information.

    • Lungi

      I agree with your sentiment. I have not seen any of that. but I will end there..too close for comfort..

    • Petar Stipanovic

      People’s experiences are subjective, surely you as a university grade lecturer must realise that you need persuasive statistical data before making a sweeping comment like this.

    • Monster_munch

      Well now you delving into the world academia (Master’s Degrees, PHD’s etc) EDUCATION (as you put it) is not just about academia but a well rounded citizen. But as you say you want to look at what sort of person attends these schools and their future. Just look at the top directors and the JSE100 and there is your answer…..

    • Gus

      My Gosh, you have a chip on your shoulder. Must be tough having to carry that around for the rest of your life.

  • Men’s Education should also be more expensive… as long as the women’s schools have state of the art home economics facilities and an annual ball for each grade (so the girls can meet nice suitors) then I’m happy.

    • Ali Cutty

      Since you teach film at UCT, would you mind pointing us towards a movie you’ve made recently. Yes, I’d like to judge you.

      • Papas28

        Whats wrong to be a teacher of film punk? You really bore me with your stupid comments, I would n’t mind punching your face

  • Also as someone who teaches university students I can say, unequivocally, that private school education does not necessarily mean “better”… All it means is the parents are more likely to fill out the varsity application forms cos Little Johnny is too tired and has had a very stressful time trying to juggle matric and getting buff for first year.

    • Alex Tarr

      I don’t think anyone is saying, unequivocally, that every single private school provides a better education than every single public school. That would be an over-simplification, and an ignorant one. But I’m sure you’ll agree, as an educated person, that you are also over-simplifying and doing so quite facetiously.

      Going to a more expensive school increases your odds of a better education, because your resources will typically be better and your environment will typically be more conducive to learning. We all know that there are turds that can’t be polished at these schools (so to speak), and that a ‘poorer’ school can still produce an overachiever. It’s just a question of improving your child’s chances and giving them an advantage, if you can afford to do it. Parents who want that advantage for their children shouldn’t be vilified. So no, your example is not “all it means”.

      • Of course I am being facetious…

        According to the NRI our education system is in a state of crisis… my issue is that private school education is expensive and elitist and does nothing to encourage equality. The middle class and poor are left out- in fact I believe there’s a land claim going on at Hilton which is quite a lovely irony (facetious alert).

        The assumption is that being reassuringly expensive means that you’re getting “a better” education. However what it provides in simple terms is an IEB Matric. I am oversimplifying obviously because I’m neglecting sports and posh facilities etc. but the fact that some private schools base their fee structure on being reassuringly expensive and therefore “the best” is ludicrous. What message is this sending? Our IEB is better than your IEB?

        Again I’m generalising but I also find that students who come through this system are more reliant on their parents and feel entitled to a place at the best universities because they merely attended a private school. Like you say turds cannot be polished… even by the most reassuringly expensive polish but turds still expect stuff nonetheless.

        As an extra measure as to why private school education is problematic is that I take umbrage to the fact that they perpetuate gender stereotypes and archaic beliefs… The popular “initiation game” called damsels on horseback comes to mind. Also there are girl’s schools that have a man in charge (because it’s good discipline) but the day Hilton College or Michaelhouse get a Lady Principal is the day I eat my own bonnet. And I have a very extensive bonnet collection for when I sojourn to Hilton for the big game (facetious alert).

        I am not vilifying parents for wanting the best for their children that was not my intention at all… I for one would want my children to have the very best… but I also know that it won’t be at the schools in this list… 1. because I don’t believe the best is necessarily determined by money and 2. because I’m homeschooling them (hahahahaha kidding- facetious.)

        • Alex Tarr

          Hang on, that’s a very different argument – the one on equality. Saying that a school is conning people into conflating ‘better’ with ‘more expensive’ is one thing, saying that they only cater to a minority elite is something else. If you want to say that you don’t need to pay this much money to get a top education, then does it matter than only a few are getting this sham education? and if you think it’s problematic that the more expensive service is denied to the majority, isn’t that an acknowledgment that they’re somehow disadvantaged?

          Your argument so far, as I’ve understood it, is not that there are different standards of education and that the superior standard is available only to those who are rich, it’s that price and quality are not synonymous. To that end you’ve said that this system sends a message of one IEB being better than another. Is that really what you think the schools are there for? Or do you think, as I do, that they are there to prepare you not only for your IEB but for life after school, and indeed life after university?

          If you think that the price tags of these schools do not come with a better quality service, you’re welcome to make that argument. I would disagree.

          Many of these schools are boarding schools, where independence from parents is encouraged. However, I agree that there is a sense of entitlement that at the very least correlates to a higher education. I would suggest that the education is not the cause of the sense of entitlement, merely another symptom of a greater systemic inequality. There are turds aplenty in the world, and not all of them went to private schools (Some could barely scrape past woodwork).

          You take umbrage with the prevalent patriarchal hierarchies at private schools. I agree that there’s a general reluctance to empower women. I don’t agree that that’s necessarily relevant to this conversation. If they were more egalitarian but remained the same in every other way would you still have an issue with the price tag?|

          I understand that you don’t like elitism. Few outside of the elite do. I feel the same way when I see people buying Nutella or carrying more than one Woolworth bag. I don’t get angry about it though, because I’ve had Nutella and Woolworths food, and I think it’s better than what I can generally afford. So I recognise that if I was in their position I’d probably do the same. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with a system of education where there are schools this expensive, as long as they provide a service that is reflective of their price, and as long as there are viable alternatives for those who cannot afford it but would otherwise be deserving of such quality services. Personally I think that there are benefits to these schools, but that there is no guarantee. If I could afford to send my children to one of them I probably would.

          I agree that these schools are far from perfect. I agree that a scholar leaving them is not necessarily better educated than a scholar leaving a cheaper school. I disagree that there is no correlation whatsoever between price paid and value received.

          • Dudge

            Yup, I went to an elite boarding school, in Zim., it turned me into a hardened resilient and self confident young man. But at University, I met some guys from public schools who were similar or had benefitted more, particularly at sport, where the underdog status seems to engender real winning ambition.


            Please have a read of this… it’s a better format than a comments page because comments can be misconstrued.

          • Alex Tarr

            Thanks for this. I suggest you post a link to the actual article so that your blog followers can read the comment thread for themselves, unless you’re satisfied that your summary is a sufficiently objective reflection.

            In the mean time I’d like to see some examples of your “heavy use of irony” and the great number of comments saying “I always knew I was at one of the best”.

            For the record, I reject that you “merely suggested” research into the teaching qualifications at these schools. You professed flat out skepticism that teachers here were of a high standard. If I misconstrued that (as tends to happen around comments as opposed to blog posts), please enlighten me as to what the Emperor’s New Cloths really is in reference to?

            I maintain that your insistence of Masters and PhD qualifications as a proxy for standard of teachers is inappropriate. You’re correct in saying that academics are graded on qualifications. Teachers are not academics. Having tertiary knowledge of a subject does not necessarily better qualify you to teach that subject at a High School level to teenagers, but this point has been emphasized and you still refuse to acknowledge it so I’ll say no more.

          • The word “article” should be highlighted green and linked in to this article. But if it is unclear I will make it more clear. I would hate for people to think I’m hiding… for I am not… hence my return to this comments forum. Loud and proud… foolish even. I can’t bring myself to use a winky face.

            My reference to the Emperor’s New Clothes is that there is the assumption that “expensive” equates to “the best” as spoken about in my article. And this is very much an emperors-new-clothes attitude. Just because stuff is expensive doesn’t always mean it’s the best… but people are often duped by the idea of “reassuringly expensive”. Myself included- I have bought many bottles of expensive wine which have not lived up to the price.

            It is difficult to ethically give examples of Facebook posts and conversations I’ve had without “naming” individuals and I’ve lost enough friends! But I wouldn’t have said anything if I hadn’t heard “well done such and such on being one of the best schools” in relation to this article. If you haven’t heard any comments like this then perhaps we hang out in different circles. I merely wanted to point out that we should all question price and value and what it is saying about society.

            Little Johnny was an ironic commentary about the dangers of helicopter parenting- this behaviour exists at private and public school level but I was being tongue and cheek about it. I really did not mean to insult parents for educating their kids. Likewise I also think that some, not all, kids have a sense of entitlement when it comes to pocket money, cars and education. This comes from my experience of talking to students who say things like “my dad’s a dick for making me get a waitressing job”. Not all, but some. I have said the odd ungrateful thing in my time too… for the record.

            Perhaps the tone I used indicated skepticism about the quality of teachers. However from my experience it was very much a mixed bag of good and bad…

            I see your point of disagreement about Masters and PhDs for teachers. I can see your point and I think this is a personal point of difference. I respect and get your opinion but I cannot come on board. My reason is that I maintain that teaching is largely academic. And I think it is a good method of helping to assure quality. At private schools it is easier to assure quality because there are more rigorous quality control measures…

            I don’t see why high school teachers shouldn’t have a PhD or Masters in education, science, english etc. What this tells me is that they have done the time and have insight and expertise in their field.

            I know that this is a potential minefield and I’m probably insulting a great number of excellent teachers without these degrees but I am just indicating that I think teachers should be encouraged and incentivised (financially) to have a higher degree- and I am sure if there was such an incentive more teachers would jump at the opportunity. But maybe I’m wrong in which case I’ll accept that teachers don’t want to do this and are happy with the way things are. I know that if someone was giving me an incentive to do my PhD I would have handed it in already. haha.

            Experience and enthusiasm are valuable but I really think that a postgraduate degree is a very useful scale when looking at how qualified someone is… Again this is something personal and maybe it is because I was brought up in academic circles which has warped my brain… In any event my point definitely still stands that expensive and elitist go hand in hand. But then again I’m being elitist about degrees. I guess I just want fairer education for everyone… I want more people to be supported when doing postgraduate degrees and I want teachers to feel like they have incentives to do the best jobs they can. I would be interested to know how many teachers would further their degrees if they had support… I would guess most of them.

        • mattcredible

          Does nothing? Lady do you even KNOW about the outreach programmes many private schools offer where their staff and pupils give up their own time to volunteer and help teach and tutor kids from surrounding poor communities AT their schools using the schools facilities?

          Do some research, you soind ignorant.

          • Greg Gow

            Have you checked out how many public schools have outreach programs?

          • Ali Cutty

            Let me guess, Fourways High has an outreach program?

          • Greg

            Exactly would you like a list???

          • Ali Cutty

            Please. Humour me.

          • Greg
          • Ali Cutty

            That’s not good enough GREG GOW.

          • Greg

            If you want a guided tour let me know.

          • Ali Cutty

            Thanks GREG GOW! Should we meet at the Kingfisher SPAR?

          • Greg

            Yes time?

          • Ali Cutty

            5am tomorrow? I’ll clean you up before my morning run, I promise.

          • Greg

            I got your kind invite a little to late. The following as problems I see with this invite. Firstly if you didn’t know this already let me state that normal people don’t socialse at that time of morning. Lastly if feaces is touched in way at all it splatters and makes a mess. So I have decline just on that fact alone as I have never would dream of lowering myself to make contact with sewer scum. Conversation now closed from my side china.

          • mattcredible

            That wasn’t my argument Greg – I’m sure many do.

          • Greg

            Thank you

        • mattcredible

          And as for your gender crap… I know many a Roedean girl that would be deeply offended to hear you even dare suggest what you have above.

          I also know that many boys schools have vert senior female members of staff.

          Bishops in CT for one has female heads of house and St Johns in Jhb had a headmistress at their prep school I believe. No headmaster yet, yes, but the rate of change happening means you will eat your words sooner rather than later.

        • Russell

          So rather than looking at how to lift up the schools that underachieve, let’s make it a negative to have elite schools. If I can afford it, my children will go to the school where I get biggest bang for buck. Within reason. I went to a model c school and had great teachers with great results. My sisters went to a private school (in this list) and had great teachers and great results. We have great public schools but also BAD ones. I didn’t go to private school so don’t know first hand whether there are secondary advantages such as networking to be had later on…

        • John Webster

          Jaqui — you appear to have some serious issues. My son goes to St Martins– it is a small private school that has a big family atmosphere. I don’t send him there because it’s expensive. I send him there because he gets a top rate education but remains grounded and humble. Sincerely hope he does not encounter too many narrow minded lecturers such as yourself , who have a lot to say about schools they have never been to

          • Siegfried Pretsch

            Jacqui indeed has some very serious issues.

        • Kyle Webster

          Jacqui as a child at st martins who is about to enter matric I have worked hard and will continue to work hard-and so yes I will earn a spot at a good university and it has nothing to do with my parents and yes a private school education is better there is no doubt about it we have much higher standards-I see it everyday myself!!!!!

        • Jeanne

          Dear Jaqui

          This has been an interesting debate for many years with some valid points raised for both private and public education systems. I’m sure the debate will continue for many years to come! What I find most striking, however, reading through your and Alex Tarr’s correspondence is the negative emotion with which you argue your points. Passion around education is wonderful, but sweeping statements and judgment simply undermine your argument and speak more of a personal issue on your part than a desire for objective debate. As a public school graduate, daughter of a recently retired public school teacher and as a private school mother, I see positive benefits to both systems. What I can assure you with absolute certainty (and pride) is that all the private schools that I’m in contact with in JHB take their broader roles in society incredibly seriously. If you were aware of the degree to which every teacher, child (and parent) within many of these private schools are directly involved in giving not only of their financial assistance but of their time and skills, you would be humbled. It sounds like a bit of humbling is in order…..


    • mattcredible

      I find your comment very bitter, which almost makes me feel justified in replying that at least Johnny’s private school will mean he has a GREAT matric and that his private school at least has the facilities for him to “get buff for first year.”
      Nasty, does your bias mean you treat all private schooled students under you with disdain and jealousy?

      • mattcredible

        And who “teaches” university students. Please, accepted term for tertiary tutelage is “lecture”. You “lecture” students in “lecture halls/rooms” at university…

        • Just sayin

          You can “teach” if you are a tutor taking tutorials… *flies away*

          • mattcredible

            Haha, noted. Thanks!

    • Bex

      I am in grade 10/standard 8 and currently attend one of the schools above. I can honestly say that from the beginning my school has taken every opportunity to drum into our heads how lucky we are to attend the school we do. And with respect, and you should take it from me, someone who is CURRENTLY IN SCHOOL, that the private schools do not produce “Little Johnnies” who rely completely on their parents as you suggested. Yes one does come across spoilt children who expect their parents to do everything for them, but these are not necessarily SOLELY private school children! There is not a decree proclaming that just because ones parents can afford/choose to send one to a private school, one has a higher chance of being a spoilt “johnny” as you suggested! I also think that your comment about a “Johnny” wanting to become buff is COMPLETELY uncalled for and stereotypical . so I wonder, if as you say stuck up Johnny from the private school is only focused on becoming buff, where does the Johnette feature? Or were you implying that Johnny encompasses all spoilt private schooled children? I understood from your phrasing ( “most likely”) that you mean “majority” of private school pupils are overindulged by their parents. Whomever you got that information from has certainly got incorrect information and i am almost 100% positive that they are not a student currently. If that is your oponion of private schooled pupils as a whole then im afraid you have only experienced the spoilt private schooled pupils And ttherefore have no right to make a judgement on the rest of us.

      • Stephanie

        You are a very smart pupil.. Very smart. I went to one of the schools above too. I agreed with what you said 100%..

    • Ali Cutty

      Keep telling yourself that.

    • Ali Cutty

      Oh god, you’re a lecturer in the film dept at UCT. Bwahahaha! At least go teach at a real film school. Please point us in the direction of some movies you’ve made so we may judge you.

    • Ali Cutty

      I’m guessing you went to a government school in PMB – maybe Alex, Carter or GHS?

      • Mbali

        May I ask why your guesses revolved around the PMB public schools you listed above?

      • Mzomuhle

        Why on earth would you guess she went to a government school in PMB?

    • v_3

      Jacqui, which university do you teach at. With your shoulder chips I would recommend that all kids except girls from SADTU schools should avoid your classes.

    • Smith

      “Those holding bachelor’s degrees earn about $2.27 million over their
      lifetime, while those with master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees
      earn $2.67 million, $3.25 million, and $3.65 million, respectively. That
      said, the major and industry a student selects ultimately have an
      enormous impact on lifetime earnings. Those with bachelor’s degrees who
      work either in management or science, technology, engineering, and
      mathematics (STEM) earn more, on average, than people with advanced
      degrees of any level who work in fields like education, sales, and
      community service.

      Those with bachelor’s degrees, no matter the field, earn vastly more
      than counterparts with some college ($1.55 million in lifetime earnings)
      or a high school diploma ($1.30 million lifetime), indicating that no
      matter the level of attainment or the field of study, simply earning a
      four-year degree is often integral to financial success later in life.”


      People with PHD’s are PROVEN to be more succesfull than those without PHD’s. These private schools give people the opportunity to go and obtain a tertiary education.
      (It’s a known fact that people in public schools get passed over in favour of private schools when it comes to entrance to uni)
      So Private schools > Government schools

      • Alien & Stranger

        Not necessarily. Our one son was Dux at his govt school, was offered scholarships that saw him through to his Masters. Our other sons also went to govt schools, pursued technical tertiary education and are doing well in their chosen careers. We encouraged them to pursue careers that aligned with their interests and talents. It’s intellectual snobbery to think that a Ph.D. is the be-all and end-all. Not everyone is an academic. Society also needs people with practical skills, not just the ivory-tower stuff. Also, children can go off-the-rails regardless of whether they’re in a govt or a fancy private school. (I’m not referring to toxic, dysfunctional govt schools of course, which is another issue). A secure family background involving unconditional love, discipline and the impartation of sound moral values makes a big difference, and many if not most children don’t have this. What counts is good character and whether a person is making a positive contribution to society.

    • Michael

      I love how your ignorance allows you to put across such inaccurate generalised assumptions.

    • Geralda wildschutt

      Such rubbish

  • Anonymous

    Beaulieu college not bording but over 80 000 a year

  • Indie Madikida Newman

    This is madness. I know personally DOG and St Andrews in Grown cause I was mentored there for debate but I’m sure those kids had my annual school fees for lunch daily and yet I always made it in the team

  • LCHF

    I suppose this list has generated some interest, but it doesn’t really provide too much useful info (except if your goal is to be able to say that your kids attend the most expensive school in SA).

    I would prefer seeing some sort of value list using the school fees, the % of matrics getting university exemption, % of A’s, school’s ranking in various sports, % of school fees going towards buying players for your rugby team, chance of your child being a snob, or your son snorting coke, or daughter falling pregnant or being stabbed etc. Ok, I’ve gone too far, but you get my drift… This list seems to share an inverse relationship with some of those factors mentioned.

    • Alex Tarr

      Agree 100%. About the list expansion, not necessarily the inverse correlation.

    • Peter

      You agree that this list is not substantial enough to be used to determine the holistic value of a school, yet you are perfectly comfortable with using this list to determine that there is an inverse relationship between drug use, child pregnancy, snobbishness, pass rate and sporting success, in-relation to the school fees of these schools.

      The point of this article was simple, provide a list of the most expensive schools in SA. What you choose to do with this information is up to you. There is no reason to ‘value’ the list etc. This list was not intended to serve as a guide to finding the best schools for your children, nor is it a barometer for the level of student ‘snobbishness’ or the prevalence of drug use- that’s a big ask for a website called ‘Business Tech’.

      Business websites are known to publish money-related ‘lists’, some of which can assist people in making investments, while others are like ‘Chappies’ facts- useless information that is just interesting to know. This is obviously the latter.

  • Stefan

    Kearsney College Annual Fee (Boarding) is mentioned! It costs R181,350!

  • Jua83

    It would be interesting to see the most expensive public schools on a list?

  • Esti dB

    GREY HIGH PE nowhere near these fees, yet way better in almost every aspect 😉 .. 23 grey !

  • Guest

    What about Herschel and St Cyprians (both girls schools in Cape Town?)

    • Herschel is around R127,000 (under the R140,000 cut-off) – St Cyprians has been added. Thanks 🙂

      • Dave Baker

        Herschel is R157,740 according t their website

        • I just double-checked – you are correct! No idea where R30k disappeared in my head. Added. Thanks 🙂

          • Dave Baker

            Think you made a simple addition mistake. Happens to all of us. Either you should have gone to an expensive private school, or you did and it didnt work 😉

  • Anon

    I attended one of these schools. Personally, I can see the advantage that it gave me over many of my peers. I was not subject to any prejudice, teacher strikes or book shortages. These are very apparent in many government schools. I am not stating that all government education is poor, but most of it is. I am grateful to have attended one of these schools! It taught me so much. It taught me how to value things many people take for granted, and foster life-long friendships. It was a family institution and felt like home for the 14 years I attended school there. Not once did I feel as though I was getting a substandard education! And I have gone much further than most at varsity with completing my Masters! So before anyone judge the amount for which we paid for a top-notch education, you should give it a try yourself.

  • Michelle

    Kingsmead College in Johannesburg – R93650.00 per annum.

  • SpudMilton

    I just think of Spud lol

  • Commenter

    Bridge House School now at R160k (including boarding), excluding IEB exam fees.

  • Rob

    The top academic private school in SA in 2013……..Helpmekaar College. Bet not many people knew that?

    • Dave Baker

      Didnt realsie they measured across the country. They do it by province. So maybe Gauteng?

  • Colleen

    I find it interesting how it is most times the parents who don’t send their children (for financial/personal reasons) who always have the most to say about private schools. Why does it upset them so much that others are prepared to pay more for their children’s education, whether they may or may not be getting more education for their money? Surely it’s each person’s choice and right to send their children to whichever institution they choose to without being made to feel that they are being taken for a ride.

    • John

      I think you’re spot on there…comments are so often driven by an innate jealousy.

      • Rami

        I also think it’s a case of jealousy. For a lecturer her argument is nonsensical and bitter.

    • Padi

      Colleen, I also completely agree with you. I went to one of the above mentioned schools, and it was the best thing my parents could have ever done for me. I think a lot of people have a lot of negative things to say because they never went to one of these schools and actually know little more than how expensive they are, but having gone to one of them, I can confidently say my parents money was well spent. Every last cent. Yes, maybe you can get an equal education at your local public school, but I am pretty sure that the overall experience, opportunities and options cannot be compared.

    • Ali Cutty


    • Greg Gow

      I have done both the private system and public system and I have found the children coming out of a good public system are more streetwise and prepared for real issues in the real life as they have not experienced any type of spoon feeding and cocooning from teachers.

      • Ali Cutty

        This is utter rubbish. Please be honest. People love saying this about private schools and it just smacks of bitterness and jealousy. Because you can’t afford to send your children to a private school, why do you feel the need to rubbish those that can? It’s laughable, really.

        • Papas28

          Dude you really comment bollocks. I have been reading your comments they really bull

  • Dudge

    There are some excellent schools in Zimbabwe too, such as Falcon College, outside Bulawayo, and Peterhouse, as well as junior schools like Whitehouse, schools for girls such as Chisipite and Arundle.

    • Ali Cutty

      Zim still sucks donkey balls though. Dunno why anyone would willingly send their child to school there.

  • Ayo DocMkize

    Dawd damn I knew Hilton was big bucks but had no idea it was the most expensive in the country.

  • Josias Jackalas Sibanda

    check Lebone 2 in Phokeng

  • KD

    Herschel school fees seem to be on par with that of DSG

  • MLW

    Not sure if you’re trying to keep the names accurate because some (like St Mary’s) have the same name. But the school is not called St Mary’s School For Girls. It’s called St Mary’s DSG. The DSG stands for Dissociation School for Girls. Not sure the schools would like having their incorrect info like that..

    • MLW

      Oops auto-correct *Diocesan

  • Rawkah

    I bet all the people that commented that “expensive does not mean better quality” would sent their kids to these kids if they could afford it.

    • Ali Cutty

      So true.

  • Rawkah


  • D

    These prices include food and boarding though. Would like to see a list of non boarding school prices

    • Check the middle column on the table 🙂 those are tuition only fees.

  • Philb

    Missed Redhill in sandton. Beats 9 of the prices on the list. 95k

  • mandy punter

    You forgot Bridgehouse in Franschoek. I think approx R160k

  • Maryna Van

    Reddum House ?

  • Peter David Wrensch

    Clarification required please. The top 2 listed include boarding. Does the rest too ? Or is it just tuition ? A friend has a son at one of the above & stated his final year as a boarder cost 250k – admittedly including some rugby tours.

  • ClaudyR

    What about WHPS in Pretoria (Waterkloof House Preparatory Scool)?

  • Abe

    I’m 33 and went to one of the schools near the top of that list along with my 2 brothers. My parents quite literally worked their fingers to the bone to achieve this. 6am to 9pm every single day of the year. For 20 years. I have 2 degrees and am surgical trainee, while my remaining brother is a physician. They both grew up in townships in apartheid south Africa, both having to work through high school and university to help supplement their household incomes.

    I asked them many times why they sacrificed so much for what seemed like something which could be far more easily attained. Their usual answer was that so we wouldn’t have to work as hard as they did, and so we could take our kids on the sorts of holidays my classmates described a couple of times a year and that my mother still to this day wishes she could have taken us on.

    I don’t really have a point here and I certainly don’t want to join any confrontational debate, but I guess I just wanted to thank my parents again for providing an absolutely idyllic childhood in a sense of the word I cannot emphasise enough.

    The man I am today is only due to their blood and sweat, which paid the fees in the above article.

  • Hockeyump

    Having been to one of these schools and sent my son to one in the UK where the termly fees are R586 more than Michaelhouse’s annual fees and having taught in Government schools in SA and the UK, I often asked myself what is the value behind a private school education?

    I have come to the conclusion that it is the extramural activities on offer that give the child a more balanced education that prepares them better for life in the real world. It gives them the ability and confidence to survive and stand on their own two feet. It gives them the power of lateral thinking to find alternative solutions to life’s problems. All these attributes gives them the ability to achieve the nirvana of working life of owning their own successful businesses.

    Yes, this is a generalisation and there are many superb Government Schools out there that give exactly the same at a much reduced cost, but the percentage of of privately educated business leaders to Government educated business leaders is so skewed as to make this entirely worth the money you pay, if you can afford it.

  • Jonathan Williams

    It would be more interesting to see the costs of the “education” without the boarding fees so that you could compare these schools to day schools as well.

    • The day fees(tuition only) are in the table.

      • Gerda Janse Van Vuuren

        Hi Quinton. The point is that if you compare only day schools, excl boarding fees there are loads of schools more expensive than these above, Believe me R80k for day only private school is ‘cheap’ in Jo’Burg. It would be more useful.

  • Parent

    Is the TWC fees not for next year (2015) and St Annes is for 2014 ??

  • Theetsa Makgoka

    Interesting read , but I don’t see Reddham House in Waterfall Estate

  • Maldwyn Greenwood

    Penryn College and Uplands in Nelspruit and White River would be just under these with a total of R110 000.00 for Penryn (With broading) and R56 900 for day, Uplands is more

  • Gerda Janse Van Vuuren

    Excluding boarding fees, I know quite a few Jo’Burg schools that are more expensive than some of these schools. Beaulieu college just put their high school fees up to R95k. Redham colleges are in high R80k. But clearly don’t offer boarding option. So not very useful if you compare school fees only.

  • ally

    Hi all. Just my little 2 cents. My brother works at one of these private schools mentioned. He is a teacher as well as involved with the boarding. It is shocking to hear how every little thing they need for the boarding house needs to be begged and pleaded for. Something as trivial as a piano. Yet parents are paying to send their kids to lessons and the school refuses to buy a new piano as the current one is broken. That is just one minor thing. They have weekly meetings that bare no fruit as everything they request gets turned down. And I am not talking about expensive luxuries I’m talking about essentials you would expect a private school of stature to provide. Anyway I am very pleased as my oldest son will be attending Grey College next year it may not be a private school but let me assure you these extremely expensive private schools are no match.

  • Thembeni Ndlovu

    I think the main goal is to get to university. Once you are in there it really doesnt matter which school you come from. If the child has drive, they will get to where they need to be regardless of which school you take them to.

    • Pvt School Parent

      Wrong. Been there, done that – came from public school and took me two years to catch up. Simply was not prepared for Uni.

  • Alex Grobbelaar

    I went to one of the best public schools in South Africa in Pretoria and I can honestly say that our school had all the facilities that a private school has- a hostel, squash courts, a 50 m Olympic size swimming pool, a hockey astro, drama theatre, restaurant etc. Our teachers knew all the students by name and also made sure everyone understands the work and does their absolute best. Our sport did very well, in fact we won some of these elite private schools by far. Our school had a 100% pass rate and were ranked one of the highest in the country. I get the same university education as people who attended these elite private schools. I will never regret going to my high school, or forget the amazing time I had there!

  • Sandy

    Private or public, it is what you make of it!

  • Macafrican

    The fees are scary, but having been on the board of one, I assure you there are no crazy profits: about 70% goes to salaries.

    The one part I don’t get is the number of private schools that do not write IEB! Don’t tell me your kid goes to say Bishops for the better education when they don’t even write the same exams as much cheaper less famous independent schools that do write IEB.

    There is a very clear UCT study on IEB. Basically their stats showed first year IEB represented 12% of intake B Comm. But IEB kids 48% of final year within course duration. In other words 4X greater probability of completing their degree in prescribed period

  • Fab

    What about Bridge House in Franschhoek?R81680 tuition and R67810 boarding=R149490

  • Abdurrahman Memee

    I think a good measure of how well these school’s perform would be to look at how well they place in a ranking like “Wits University’s Top 100 Feeder Schools”

  • Mercia

    Bridge House School – Western Cape

  • Vasim Shaikh

    And then there are some of us who weren’t privileged enough to study past grade 10.. at any school…

  • morton

    Pre model C, you could get a better education from the government schools located in the same area in and around Pietermatrizburg. Schools like Martizburg College, Alexandra and GHS, to mention but three! were better schools, both in academics and sport. well done anc for taking us forward!!!

    • Papas28

      Morton you the man for mentioning those schools. Great comment

  • Carole

    Jacqui I hope when and if my kids make it to university they have a better lecturer with a less biased and more informed opinions than yours. My concern would be that you are not supporting or even aware of all/some the things that are being done – a lot of time by people who have been privately educated – to assist with the improvement of education in SA. Make an effort to become involved rather than to make judgements about people you have never met!

  • Justin Valsecchi

    This is a very interesting discussion, i must say that there are some rather ignorant comments though… nonetheless, i attended a school called Rand Park High in joburg, a school that is regarded as one of the best government school in Joburg North, and has won ( on numerous occasions) won the top feeder school for wits university. Personally i feel that wether you paying R200 000 a year vs paying R25000 a year ( my fees in 2012), comes down largely to the parents pride, image and obviously how much they earn. Simply saying that one parent provided more for a childs education based on the money they spend is very ignorant, especially considering the very clear inequality gaps in the average house hold earnings! But lets rather not go there….
    Instead if we look at the quality being paid for, my science teacher had a masters in Biochem , my accounting teacher was fully qualified CA, my english teacher was a fully qualified lawyer. So masters and higly qualified teachers are out there, and you dont need a private school to find them, at the same time these qualifications mean naught if the teacher cant teach or inspire a young and fertile mind to achieve success. Which leads me to my next point, I tutor maths and science to all sorts of students from all sorts of schools and to be honest the problems that each child faces are the same, the complaints and foundations are all the same and dont discriminate . However the difference comes in with the actual reason a parent sends the child in for tutoring, many of the private school kids go in because they getting a 60% for science which the parent says is pathetic, however they dont consider the extent of the childs ability and will then start to throw money at the problem. Then you get the kids coming in who have really marks in any case, but “have” to have extra lessons because they not the best in the grade…

    At the end of the day, it comes down to the effort, mentality and understanding of the parents and not the money or the super expensive school. I study actuarial science at UCT and the top students are a random mix of race, gender and schooling backrounds… apologies if my point isnt very clear!

  • Magnificant

    Who is to say whether a Mercedes S Class is better than a Honda Jazz. It depends on your needs, your income and your taste. Jacqui sounds like she may “hate BMW drivers because they are all a*holes” but yes it’s interesting that her university’s own research confirms IEB outperformance so maybe her generalizations are not so general after all. Not sure I will be encouraging my kids to do film study

  • coachbrad

    Mmmhhhhh. Is Hiltons education at R209k 6x better than Westville high school at R 36k????? Is this not the same Hilton which recently decided to stop playing rugby against glenwood high because they (Glenwood) were in a different league? I think a simple value for money determination will tell you hilton parents are being ripped off. But then again, maybe its a price they’re willing to pay to get jonny out the house…… *runs away*

  • Parent in KZN

    Just a point to bear in mind, the fees quoted for The Wykeham Collegiate fees you have given are their 2015 fees, whereas some other school fees quoted are for 2014. This makes a huge difference.

  • Wow I feel like Obamacare… I went away and came back and now I know how Obama feels. I feel like we’ve got off on the wrong foot… I made some facetious comments, I was glib, I was ironic, people made assumptions… I made assumptions too… maybe I was vague… but I’ve crawled out of the woodwork and here is my argument… in black and white… I’ve posted it on my website which is understandably an incredibly douchie thing to do.. but I never expected this shitstorm.

  • Anon

    You missed St Mary’s School for Girls in Waverley, Johannesburg at R173 700 per annum (2015 fee structure)

  • Gotta pay

    If you are looking at schools which don’t have boarding then the daily fees for Grade 11 and 12 learners at Yeshiva College in Glenhazel would be at #2 on the list at R109,356 per year

  • Bronwyn Cilliers

    I know parents who made many sacrifices to send their children to schools on this list, because they believed that a good education was the best gift that they could give their child. They drove old model cars and the children in question did not get enormous birthday presents or overseas holidays. Their dance dresses were made by their Mums, Grans or the lady down the road. What amazes me is the number of children attending small town government schools whose parents spend the equivalent of a term or two at a private school on dance dresses and perhaps even a whole years schooling on the perfect car for their learner driver. I am extremely grateful for the choices which my parents made and hope that I can instill the same values in my children at whichever school they attend.

    • Pvt School Parent

      Well put. At the end of the day I pay these fees just trying to give my son the best – what he makes of life after that is his baby – but at least my conscience is clear in that I tried to do so

  • Deee

    Sacred heart and Bishop bavin

  • k_mo

    as of january 2014 st martins charges 80k for grade 4-7. then 8-12 are charged 105000k excluding boarding. including boarding St martins charges 184460k anually for grades 8-12.

  • James R. Yeo

    That includes boarding so survey not 100%%%%

  • Melly Munster

    Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the State Education Department would give each and every parent a “certificate” of what they pay per head per child toward education, say, R100,000, at the beginning of each year. So that the parents can send their children to whichever school they feel will be best for their child? If parents feel they would like to “top up” the funds and send their children to a Private school then that would be up to them. Ms Jaqui Hiltermann seems to have a horrid chip on her shoulder towards Private Education and there are many others like her. Why? I wonder what has caused this bias and bitterness?

    The State Education Department would most certainly not cope should all the private schools cease to exist. The sheer numbers alone of extra children flooding into the State System would cripple their already struggling budgets.

    Rather than getting into a slanging match with this lass, it is refreshing to read the many success stories of those replying on this threat, let’s hear if there are some innovative ideas to raise the standards of State Education. I, personally, have met many interesting intellectuals who have tried their damnedest to introduce new Methods and technologies to the State Education Department but they have, sadly, been rebuffed (usually because they would not grease a palm with silver or just sheer ignorance of the situations they were rallying to negate).

    I have also found Private Schools more open to change and trying new Methods. They always have their students’ needs at the very forefront of their efforts and this shows in the children’s confidence and results.

    Here in the UK we have the Pupil Premium, £3 Billion per year spent on those children who are from underprivileged backgrounds, (£1,700) per year per child and it MUST be spent on THAT child with documented evidence for OFSTED! Yet we still see the gulf between these children and those considered to be from “Working Class” backgrounds. Just because the State throws money at the issue, it is not necessarily solved.

    Our UK Education Department spends approximately £7,000 per year per child on State Schooling. Add the £1,700 per child in receipt of Pupil Premium and you have the same monies as would be spent on a Private Education each year. But, sadly, those children still do not leave with the grades or confidence that the privately educated children leave with. Therein lies the rub Ms Hiltermann. Sad but very very true. It is a mindset, not a blank cheque that makes all the difference.

  • Sarah

    You left off St Charles, Epworth and St Johns. All in Pietermaritzburg.

  • Carlos Ferrão

    Jacqui, you comments are absolute ignorance. Both my boys go to St Albans College and the opportunities they have been exposed to is beyond believe. My oldest spend 9 months in Portugal playing basketball, during his matric year, which would only have been possible because of St Albans. He’s inline to have 5 distinctions, all because of St Albans and the extra work they did to make it possible. He’s also been interviewed by Harvard and Columbia for next year, these are the kind of opportunities St Albans create. He’s a typical “Jock” however because of St Albans, they create a balanced environment where he can achieve in sports and academics, which government school would give a single kid this kind of attention. P.s. – all 4 top SA universities have accepted him for Actuarial Science, with a place in Res. My youngest son has been given the opportunity to spend time at Harvard and MIT, with the help of St Albans, and they planning his roadmap in achieving his goal of going to MIT. All of this at no extra cost to me, its all part of your school fees, your kid just need to take the oppertuniities the school presents to them.

    With your ignorance you might make assumptions that this would have been possible in any good model C school, or I have no idea what model C schools offer. Not a chance, my oldest went to Randpark Ridge High for two years, I take my hat off to schools like Randpark Ridge, Fourways & Northcliff, they dedicated to getting the kids a good education, with limited funds. Schools like Randpark Ridge don’t have the resources or the scope to create opportunities like the ones St Albans present to my kids.

    In summary if you want your kids to have a balance life and all the opportunities in the world, private schools like St Albans College is worth every penny. If you have average ambitions for your kids, by all means a good model C schools could do the job, but with a global village of today , I think our kids of the future need more.

    Ps – before you make assumptions, I’m not rich, I’m an average corporate worker getting average pay, top schools like St Albans is available to all kids, its up to the parents to make it happen.

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  • Verushca Hunter

    I am moving my daughte

  • Kobuhle Kobby Kulu

    It’s all well for them but that doesn’t necessarily mean these kids are smarter nor getting the best of the education

  • David Rankin

    All I can say is that I am pleased I matriculated from Kearsney College in 1969. As an only child I learnt how to be independent and stand up for myself. My parents were not in the rich category and in fact my mother passed away in August last year and her total estate would not have covered one year at the school at today’s costs. Academically I reckon I would have done just as well at DHS (they didn’t want me because we didn’t live in the area – until they discovered that my family had made and donated the school bell). I can remember my fathers words quite clearly when the headmaster phoned (one day before school started) to tell him I could come to DHS (unrepeatable). Am I sorry I went to such a great school – no. I still believe, however that parents must examine their motives very carefully before sending a young boy to a boarding school – there were so many young guys who cried themselves to sleep at night.

  • Gill

    I went to one of the poorer schools, must say, my spelling beats yours…or maybe you were tired whilst writing and lost your eye for detail

  • melinda forster

    I cannot speak for St. Martin’s today of course, but I went there and matriculated in 1985. I am female and it was one of the few coed private schools maybe the only one. We were not wealthy and I am sure my parents sacrificed. Many of the other kids were on scholarships which I guess were maybe paid by the full paying pupils. IT was quite different to the northern suburbs more elite school even though it was just as expensive. The economic backgrounds of the pupils were very varied. I cannot tell you how much I loved that school it was the defining influence in my life.. way more than varsity. We were not the school with the best matric results but our peeps did really well the first year at university as you were taught to think and not spoon fed. If it is anything like it was when I was there I would not hesitate to sacrifice and send my kids. It was the best preparation I could have asked for and a wonderful school for nurturing critical thinking.

  • Siegfried Pretsch

    Thank you!

  • sipho

    Guys, hang on! Let’s stop this jealousy vibe in our beautiful country. Having the best education is what your parents can afford to give you, is not a sin nor having the worst education system. It all boils back to who can afford and who can’t afford. If your parents are not affording to take you to the best private school, blame them and ask the government to do their bit to deliver their promises.

  • Chris Black

    There is nothing wrong about sending your child to private school especially when you can afford it. I’m a student at Wits university and my observation so far is that student from public schools struggle to adapt in university environment compare to those who come from “expensive” private schools and they are more likely not to finish their Degrees’ in a given a period of time, they barely enroll for Masters and PhD’s. PMB has the oldest diocesan private schools which consinstantly produces candidates that are productive both in Sport and Academics for years, legecy is one of the factors that put them on top of the ladder. Guys like Patric Lambi St. Michaels’ Old boy, the guy who perfected every field…. sport, academics, leadership, you name it…… So my point is that there is a slim chance that your children won’t make it in life when they were groomed by private schools and the bigger portion of chance goes to those who went to public schools that they won’t make it in life.

  • Ahnila

    American International School of Johannesburg should be on the list.

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