Charities That Help Students Financially in South Africa | 2024 Free Funding

Apart from playing host to some of Africa’s beautiful history, education in South Africa is important in the life of the average students. However, the price to pay for education can be expensive. And as a South African student, you would rather welcome education than ignorance. Fortunately, there are some charities that help students financially in South Africa.

I have been a beneficiary of some of these helpful charity groups in terms of education. You also need this financial assistance for your education if you have no money and must progress further academically. I did not pick and dump in this post. Instead, I carefully handpicked these charities that help students financially in South Africa.

Charities That Help Students Financially in South Africa

While you pick and apply, understand that some opportunities can be hard to get. But this does not mean you should not apply, irrespective of how hard the program claims to be. Some of the active charities that help students financially in South Africa that I know about include the following.

1. Ikusasa Student Financial Aid programme

This programme is dedicated to securing the future of South African youth by providing needs-based financial assistance to students from poor and working-class families. The support will equip you with a broad set of knowledge, skills, and character traits for growth.

The goal is to promote equal opportunity and equitable income distribution for all South Africans. When you are approved for funding by ISFAP, you will receive enough to cover tuition, accommodation, travel, books, meals, and even a stipend.

Ikusasa financial aid programme

2. Entelect Foundation

In the past, the Entelect Foundation offered financial support to underprivileged youth within their community. As they grew, they founded their own group of NPO charities and social development enterprises. This allowed them to fund, run, and direct their own charities to reach a broader base of beneficiaries.

They manage several “Light of Hope Shelter Homes” throughout South Africa for people who do not have enough money for education. Entelect also supports and runs many feeding schemes, provides employment opportunities, and offers educational support, and social support to people.

Entelect Foundation financial aid

3. The Hexagon Trust

In the heart of Durban, South Africa, you will find charities that help students financially in South Africa. One such organization is the Hexagon Trust. These bursaries are not just any financial aid; they cover your registration, tuition fees, and even a book allowance.

The focus is on students pursuing studies in the Science, Engineering, and Commerce fields at the tertiary level. The Hexagon Trust has a clear objective of building an environment where South African students can make a significant impact in their respective fields. Over the years, more than 18,000 students have accessed tertiary education from this charity.

Hexagon Trust financial aid

4. Reddam House Community Foundation

The Reddam Foundation has been a ray of hope for disadvantaged South African students. This charity is a golden opportunity for you to attend Reddam House, a group of premium co-educational, non-denominational, independent schools not just in South Africa, but also in Australia and the UK.

Reddam goes beyond just financial aid. They support you if you are facing barriers to learning. From Stage 1 to Grade 12, every student is actively involved in the Reddam Gives Back Programme, where you choose and serve a community project or charity throughout the year.

Reddam Foundation financial aid

5. Michael and Susan Dell

In South Africa, a mere half of the children who commence primary school complete grade 12. Moreover, the disparity between educational achievements and employer expectations makes it tough for the youth to secure jobs. The unemployment rate exceeds 50%. With such statistics, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation chose to become one of the charities that help students financially in South Africa.

Among lower-income students, only 1 in 18 manages to obtain a university degree or certificate. Thus, this charity foundation has taken steps to enhance schools’ access to top-notch tools and data.

Furthermore, Michael and Susan Dell believe in the power of data to transform education. One of their notable initiatives is the Dell Young Leaders program, which assists students in overcoming graduation obstacles.

Michael & Susan Dell financial aid in South Africa

6. The Angel Network

The Angel Network is based in South Africa and is a non-profit organization. Their mission is to alleviate poverty and social injustices by working with communities to reach their full potential.

A deep search showed that the philosophy of this charity organization revolves around providing a hand UP, rather than a mere handout to South Africans. One of the notable campaigns is the “Christmas/Back to School Backpacks” initiative. Through this program, the aim was to gift 1,200 orphaned and vulnerable children with Christmas backpacks. The Angel Network’s founder, Glynne Wolman, emphasizes the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’, which is about caring for each other and ensuring that the heart of the people of South Africa serves as a moral pulse for the world.

The Angel Network financial aid

7. CAF Southern Africa

One of the charities that help students financially in South Africa, volunteering, and social investment is Charities Aid Foundation Southern Africa (CAFSA). They have set up an emergency fund to assist non-profit organizations during crises. CAFSA also provides insights into the global giving landscape through its World Giving Index. They even offer support to non-profit businesses and individuals, aiming to make a significant impact in the community. You can even land a job opportunity with this charity.

One notable endeavor was fostering stronger ties between South Africa and the USA.

CAFSA financial aid in South Africa

8. Old Mutual Foundation

Transforming hardship into hope, the Old Mutual Foundation is deeply committed to creating positive, sustainable change across South Africa.

Apart from being one of the top charities that help students financially in South Africa they also empower people through skills development, socio-economic transformation, and jobs.

Old Manual Foundation invests in education initiatives that improve the maths and science results of Grade 12 students. This charity also supports charitable initiatives that cater to vulnerable communities.

Old Mutual Foundation financial aid

9. Mellon Educate

An Irish-based African development charity, Mellon Educate, was founded by developer and philanthropist Niall Mellon in 2002. With the combined efforts of volunteers and the South African government, they have built houses for 175,000 homeless individuals in South Africa’s poorest townships.

In 2013, the charity pledged a 10-year education development program to enhance the education of over 100,000 African children.

They have already improved educational access and standards for over 50,000 primary school children aged between 4 and 12 in Kenya and South Africa.

Mellon Educate believes, as Nelson Mandela once said, that “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”

Mellon Educate financial aid


In a nation marked by economic disparity, South Africans often grapple with the decision of which charity to support.

Among the many charities that help students financially in South Africa, UNICEF stands out as one that never fails. They have a long history and have been there since 1946. That’s well over seven decades.

UNICEF has an impressive program expense ratio of 88.9%. The majority of their funds directly benefit those in need, including students and nonstudents.

Their commitment to creating a world fit for all children is unwavering. South Africa is just one of the 190 countries where UNICEF has a presence that offers financial aid for education.

88% of UNICEF staff are in the field. The alarming statistic that over 200 children under the age of 5 die daily in South Africa from preventable causes drives UNICEF’s mission in South Africa.

Financial aid from UNICEF

11. SAB Foundation

I found the SAB Foundation to be one of the best pillars of support for people in South Africa. Entrepreneurs under their wing receive funding, business skills development, mentorship, and assistance in accessing markets and finance. SAB’s support primarily targets businesses and benefits women, youth, those in rural areas, and people with disabilities.

They have supported over 6,422 businesses across various sectors and the creation of 10,384 new jobs. These entrepreneurs have witnessed a 96% increase in turnover, a testament to the foundation’s effectiveness.

SAB Foundation financial aid for education

12. Sage Foundation

The Sage Foundation is a testament to the commitment of a global organization that employs over 11,700 staff. Sage has fundraised nearly $3 million to aid non-profit organizations worldwide. Beyond just monetary contributions, the Sage Foundation also offers discounted software to eligible charities, social enterprises, and other non-profit entities. An achievement of this foundation is the nearly 150,000 volunteer days that staff have dedicated to support causes.

Financial aid from Sage Foundation

13. Motsepe Foundation

Motaeoe is inspired by the African philosophy of Ubuntu, which emphasizes the interconnectedness of humanity. It was founded in 1999 by Dr. Patrice Motsepe and Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe. This philosophy embodies the spirit of giving and caring for one’s community, a value that has been intrinsic to African culture for generations.

The foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all, especially marginalized communities, women, youth, and the unemployed. This charity has a keen focus on youth, women, and other vulnerable groups across Africa, with initiatives like the Centre for Gender Equality, Wellness, and Leadership (GEWAL). The foundation has also been assisting communities across South Africa since 2016. They also offer a bursary program and promote sports, music, and the arts in South Africa.

Motsepe Foundation financial aid

14. Siyabonga Africa

Dedicated to creating a poverty-free South Africa, Siyabonga Africa has been at the forefront of providing opportunities for the unemployed, poverty-stricken, and destitute. They believe in empowering individuals to discover solutions to their challenges.

Their initiatives range from providing emergency relief, such as food parcels and necessities, to offering skills training in areas like welding, vegetable gardening, fashion design, and computer literacy.

They also focus on small business development, assisting micro-business owners with training and funding opportunities. Over the past three decades, Siyabonga Africa has empowered thousands to take control of their lives and destinies, working with a diverse group of people, from the most vulnerable to those who simply lack opportunities.

Get Siyabonga Africa financial aid

15. Asisa Foundation

Imagine a world where financial education can change the trajectory of someone’s life. That’s the world the ASISA Foundation envisions. They believe that financial education is more than just understanding money; it’s a tool for social and economic empowerment. Through their programs, individuals gain financial capabilities that allow them to actively participate in the economy, making a positive ripple effect in their communities.

The foundation’s CEO, Ruth Benjamin-Swales, emphasizes the power of collaboration. By working together, they’ve been able to facilitate significant change in the lives of ordinary people. Their national focus ensures they reach every corner of South Africa, because, as they put it, “you never know where greatness is going to come from.”

Get Asisa Foundation financial aid

16. Trevor Noah Foundation

You have known Trevor Noah as a comedian but you probably did not know that he runs one of the charities that help students financially in South Africa. This charity is known as the Trevor Noah Foundation championed by Trevor Noah, a philanthropist. Noah’s Foundation has a vision to create a South Africa where education empowers the youth to dream beyond their circumstances.

In 2018, Trevor Noah, South Africa’s celebrated comedian, launched this foundation in his hometown. He firmly believes that “The higher the level of education, the higher chance the youth have of creating a future for themselves and collectively, a better South Africa.” The foundation is also committed to education and tackling youth unemployment in South Africa.

Trevor Noah Foundation financial aid

Ultimately, some of these active charities that help students financially in South Africa are hard to get to support you. But it is not impossible. My advice is for you to apply for as many as you can, especially those that you 100% meet the eligibility requirements.

As a South African student, you do not want to get lost in a flawed system. This post has revealed to you the opportunities to become part of the solution to build a brighter future for yourself.

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