HW Careers

Other Educational Funding Sources in South Africa

Deciding what subjects to take at the end of Grade 9 is an important life decision, but it isn’t easy to know that early on what you want to do when you’re finished school.

There’s no magic formula, what is important though is that at the start of Grade 9 (even during Grade 8), you start thinking about possible career choices.

Government Programs

Many government departments, such as Basic Education (Funza Lushaka), Social Development, Labour, and Science and Technology, to mention a few, offer educational funding sources such as bursaries to learners who meet certain requirements.

These are bursaries that usually have a work-back condition – in other words, you will be required to work for the number of years for which you received the bursary (or longer).

Public Training Opportunities

Some government departments offer post-school education and training opportunities, through colleges and centres for capacity development. Graduates from these colleges are often specifically recruited to work for these government departments.

Although some of these opportunities may require a Grade 12 pass, they may at times have other additional requirements. You will need to find out more about these opportunities at the respective government departments listed below. Also be on the lookout for intake opportunities, which are usually advertised in newspapers.

Please make early enquiries with the different government departments below about the opportunities they offer.

Department of Health

There are several qualifications offered by nursing colleges. These include:

  1. Diploma in Nursing;
  2. Bachelor of Nursing; and
  3. Advanced Diploma: Community Nursing Science.

For a list of registered nursing colleges, visit the SNAC website or call 012 420 1035/1045

South African Police Services (SAPS)

If you wish to train to be a police officer visit your nearest police station for more information or call the national office on 012 393 1000 or visit the SAPS website.

Department of Correctional Services

This department occasionally advertises training opportunities for correctional officers. If you are interested in a career of this nature, you can also keep an eye out for advertisements in the newspapers.

Trained correctional officers may have an opportunity to be permanently employed upon completion of their training.

For further information call 012 307 2227 or visit the DCS website.

Department of Defence

The Department of Defence offers a variety of training and employment opportunities in the army, the navy, the air force and the military health services. You can also serve as a reservist in the defence force. Be on the lookout for the department’s next intake or call:

  • Army: 012 355 9111
  • Health: 012 367 9000
  • Navy: 012 339 4352
  • Air Force: 012 312 2911


Department of Public Works

Temporary work opportunities exist in the Expanded Public Works Programme. Participants receive training in a variety of areas depending on what projects are being implemented in different areas often through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant.

For more information call your local municipality or the department on 012 406 1000 or visit the EPWP website.


Department of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs

There are opportunities offered through Community Work Programmes in different municipalities. Visit your nearest local municipality for more information.

Alternatively call the national office on 012 334 0600 or visit the COGTA website.

Department of Labour

This department provides career and job seeking related information and other important information. Visit your nearest labour centre or visit the Department of Labour’s website or call 012 309 4048/4662. There are many opportunities on offer, this is only meant to help give you a head start as you look for employment and training opportunities after Matric.

Private Companies

There are also a number of organisations and companies, such as the Rural Education Access Programme (REAP), mining companies, law firms, accounting firms, and entities such as Telkom, ESKOM and CSIR, to mention a few, that also offer bursaries to high achieving and deserving learners.

They may require that you “pay back” the bursary by working at their organisation once you have completed your studies, but this is a plus as you gain work experience and have a guaranteed job after you have completed your studies.

How to Apply for Educational Assistance in South Africa

  • When filling out an application form, make sure you fill it out in full. Provide sufficient information about yourself, your future plans, and career aspirations. Never submit a late application as this will automatically disqualify you from the opportunity.
  • Be truthful about your financial situation. If you are not in financial distress it will be discovered later on as all financial statements have to be submitted
  • Be realistic when asked for a yearly spending budget, do not try to get more resources than actually required as you may not end up qualifying for the funding.
  • Be open, honest and transparent about the available resources you do have. It will improve your chances of gaining an opportunity you really need to secure your future.
  • When applying at a certain university, ask their FAO or SSC at the TVET College about these and other available scholarships, bursaries and loans. They will be able to provide you with more detailed information on how to go about the process.
  • Be prepared to write a HWSETA Career Guidance Brochure 17 letter of motivation when asked. A great introduction in your letter gives a good first impression. The letter must be well written and to the point, highlighting your strengths and detailing your long-term goals. Ensure that the letter is respectful and mature in tone, grabs the potential funder’s attention and compels them into action, i.e. awarding you with a bursary.
  • Check with private companies. Most major commercial banks also provide services for student loans and parents can also approach the company at which they are employed for a bursary or student loan on behalf of their child.
  • Regularly conduct internet searches and look through print media to discover currently available opportunities. Make sure you also check the relevant criteria for Educational Funding Sources such as student loans, bursaries and scholarships for the next academic year.
  • Talk to mentors to gain advice about financial assistance. They would be able to help you find educational funding options for studying in a particular career field.
  • Identify the professional body for that specific career field. They will be able to provide you with more information on the financial assistance avenues that you can pursue.
  • Remember each student loan, bursary or scholarship has different terms and conditions. You must carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding whether to apply or accept one of these opportunities. It is recommended that you do thorough research to compare different opportunities and what they offer to ensure that you meet all of the required criteria and most importantly to match your career aspirations to these opportunities.
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