Free Laptop for Students in South Africa 2024

Nowadays, many students work or even study from home more than ever before. This might mean you need a free laptop for students in South Africa. As we know, laptops can be pricey, especially if you are feeling the pinch financially.

Don’t worry. There are ways to get a free or, at least, cheap laptop, especially for those with low incomes. A lot of non-profit organizations realize how essential technology is for everyone. They offer free or low-cost laptops to those who need them, which can be a huge help for work or studies. Plus, they often provide free tech lessons so you can use your new laptop confidently.

So, if you’re curious about how to get a budget-friendly free laptops as a South African student, keep reading.

How to Get Free Laptop for Students in South Africa in 2024

While you are searching for a free laptop, be careful because there are many scams out there. If any person or website asks you for money to give you a free laptop, it’s a scam – run from it. The list here is made up of reliable sources that if you QUALIFY or the service is active, you are getting that free laptop. That said, below are opportunities for a free laptop for students in South Africa:

1. Get Free Laptop from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) of South Africa

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) of South Africa offers the Digital Learning Device Programme, introduced to help teaching and learning at higher education and training institutions.

What is the Digital Learning Device Programme?

The Digital Learning Device Programme is a government initiative directed by the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation. The purpose of this program is to provide learning devices to students to support blended learning methodologies.

Once an order for a laptop is processed and the device is delivered, you can expect to receive the following items for free:

  • Laptop
  • Laptop Charger
  • Laptop Bag
  • Delivery Receipt

Note that only the student who is approved to receive a laptop may collect the device.

Here are the steps to order and receive a laptop from NSFAS:

  1. Register. If you’re a NSFAS funded student at TVET colleges, you must be a continuing student who was registered in 2020 and currently registered to study in 2021. If you’re a NSFAS funded student at universities, you must be registered to study at any public university; both first-time entering and continuing students may apply for a learning device.
  2. Complete the DLD form. Collect, complete and submit the Digital Learning Device (DLD) form to your Financial Aid Office (FAO) on campus. Order your laptop on the DLD online order portal via the NSFAS website. NSFAS along with your institution will verify your details as well as your order.
  3. Collection. Once the verification process is complete, an order for your laptop will be placed with the service providers to dispatch the device for delivery. Once your laptop is ready, you will be called by the laptop service provider or your institution to arrange collection/delivery. Remember, you must be present and also sign before the laptop is handed over to you.
  4. Identification. You must produce your ID/birth certificate and proof of academic registration/student card from your institution before receiving your device.
  5. Agree to the terms and conditions. You will be required to agree to the terms and conditions as set out by your institution before receiving your learning device.
  6. Laptop payment. Non-NSFAS funded students who require a device should consult their institutions as they will remain responsible for the payment of the device and must therefore agree to the payment terms as defined by the institution.

Begin your application for NSFAS free laptop for South African students.

2. Free Laptop from One Student, One Laptop Program

The United Nations declared 2005-2014 as the decade for Education for Sustainable Development. This initiative aimed to integrate sustainable development values into all aspects of learning and encourage behavioral changes, especially in Africa’s underprivileged young students. The “ONE STUDENT, ONE LAPTOP” project is part of this initiative. You can use this program to get a laptop as a student in South Africa either for free or at a very affordable price.

Objectives of this project:

  • Teach students how to use technology effectively.
  • Help students in Togo learn actively.
  • Encourage people to donate used computers to students who need them.
  • Improve how students in Togo use technology.
  • Get young people in developed countries to support this project.
  • Help students understand the digital world and prepare them for jobs both locally and
  • internationally.
  • Support the education plan in Togo to encourage active learning.
  • Prepare students to meet university needs and compete globally.
  • Help students at the University of Lome get laptops.

3. Free Laptop from Computer Aid South Africa

Computer Aid is an international organization that provides computers to those in need. They have a presence in South Africa and students can apply for a free laptop through their platform.

How to Apply

  • The first step is to visit the Computer Aid website HERE.
  • On the website, you will find an application form that you need to fill out.
  • Make sure to provide as many details as possible to increase your chances of getting a free laptop for students in South Africa.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, you can reach out to Computer Aid South Africa at the following email address

4. Apply for Lenovo Student Laptops

Lenovo offers a range of student laptops in South Africa that are designed to empower students. However, these are not free laptop for students in South Africa per see but they are really student-friendly in terms of specs and price.

These laptops are affordable, easy to use, and foster learning and collaboration in the modern classroom. Here’s a comparison of some of the student laptops available:

Laptop ModelProcessorOperating System
Lenovo 500w Gen 3Intel® Celeron® or Intel® Pentium®Windows 10 Home
Lenovo 300w Gen 3AMD 3015e mobile processorWindows 10 Home
Lenovo 13w Yoga (13, AMD)Up to AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series mobile processorsUp to Windows 11 Pro
Lenovo 14w Gen 2 (14, AMD)AMD 30150e Mobile ProcessorUp to Windows 10 Pro

For the display, memory, and weight of each laptop model, we have:

11.6″ HD (1366 x 768) IPS Touch, 250 nitsUp to 8GB LPDDR4xStarting at 1.3kg / 2.9lbs
11.6″ HD (1366 x 768) IPS Touch, 250 nits4GB DDR4Starting at 1.3kg / 2.9lbs
13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS touchUp to 16GBStarting at 1.45kg / 3.19lbs
Up to 14” FHD IPS with optional touchscreenUp to 8GBStarting at 1.45kg / 3.2lbs

Please note that all battery life claims are approximate and based on results using the MobileMark® 2018 battery-life benchmark test. Actual battery life will vary and depends on many factors such as product configuration and usage, software use, wireless functionality, power management settings, and screen brightness. The maximum capacity of the battery will decrease with time and use.

For more information, you can visit the Lenovo website here.

5. Use Microsoft Education Store

You have probably never heard of Microsoft’s Education Store as a student – now you have. In fact, many South Africans use this platform to get really cheap PCs.

Microsoft’s Education Store offers a variety of deals and discounts for students, including those in South Africa. Let’s break down how this store works in the favor of South African students who need laptop but have no money.

1. Surface Laptop 5 Discount

Microsoft is offering $400 off on select Surface Laptop 5 models. This is a high-tech, touchscreen laptop that runs on Windows 11 and is perfect for multitasking and long hours of use, thanks to its impressive battery life. It’s available in a variety of bold colors.

2. Microsoft Teams for Free

Students and teachers from K-12 to collegiate level can use Microsoft Teams for free with an eligible active school email. This is a great tool for online collaboration and communication.

3. Student Discount on Surface Devices

Students can save at least 10% on Surface devices and accessories. This discount can help you get set for the semester with high-quality tech.

4. Flexible Payment Options

Microsoft Store and its partners offer flexible payment options, starting at 0% APR. This can make purchasing tech for school more manageable.

5. 50% Off Microsoft 365 Personal for College Students

College students can get 50% off Microsoft 365 Personal, which includes apps, security, and large storage. The discounted price is only $2.99/month.

Unfortunately, Microsoft offers are available for a limited time and while supplies last. It’s also important to note that you may need to verify your student status to get the laptop discount. You can visit the Microsoft Education Store directly.

Other Ways to Get Free Laptop if You Study in South Africa

6. Local Libraries

Your nearby library could be a great starting point if you’re searching for a free or inexpensive laptop. Libraries are treasure troves of information and can often guide you toward resources for free or nearly free laptops. In South Africa, for example, some libraries join forces with tech companies or businesses to donate laptops to people who need them.

But, there could be certain conditions you’d need to meet to qualify for these programs to get a free laptop for students in South Africa. Also, not all libraries may have such arrangements. So, it’s wise to call your local library before your visit to check if they have any free or low-cost laptop programs.

Step 1: Find local librariesLook up libraries in your local area
Step 2: Contact librariesCall them to ask if they have laptop programs
Step 3: Understand the requirementsAsk about the eligibility criteria for these programs

7. Online Colleges or Universities

Believe it or not, enrolling in an online college or university could potentially get you a free or inexpensive laptop! Some online institutions offer their students laptops for free. If you’re keen on furthering your education to open more job opportunities or start a new career, this could be a fantastic way for you.

But remember, your primary goal should be your education, not just getting a free laptop. So, ensure that the college or university you choose offers the courses and programs you’re interested in.

Step 1: ResearchLook for online colleges/universities that offer free laptops to students
Step 2: Consider your interestsMake sure they offer programs you’re interested in
Step 3: ApplyApply for admission in the institution of your choice

8. Online Public Schools

Online public schools often provide their students with free devices like Chromebooks, laptops, free MacBooks, tablets, etc. This is particularly true in this digital age where many schools offer online classes.

If you’re a student enrolled in such a school, you may be eligible for a free device. It’s advisable to conduct a location-based search for online public schools in your state. Reach out to these schools to inquire about their programs and requirements.

Step 1: Locate schoolsFind online public schools in your state or locality
Step 2: InquireContact the schools to inquire about free device programs
Step 3: EnrollEnroll in a school with a program that suits your needs

9. The Click Foundation

How about The Click Foundation? They are a South African-based non-profit organization that seeks to create educational interventions in underprivileged schools and communities. The objective of this foundation is to provide free laptops for students in South Africa to facilitate the learning process and overcome educational challenges.

While the foundation may not directly provide laptops, they implement online phonetics-based English literacy programs that may involve the use of technology.

They also assist in getting necessary technological resources, such as laptops, for students in need. The Click Foundation believes that introducing technology into the education sector can revolutionize teaching and learning.

10. iSchool Africa

Another top-tier organization in South Africa giving free laptops is iSchool Africa.

Over time, the organization has focused on providing Apple iPads to rural and township schools. They also extend their resources to provide laptops or similar technologies under certain circumstances.

The iSchool Africa program also focuses its aim on providing children with the necessary tools to receive a quality education, bridging the digital divide between rural and urban areas. The idea behind their initiatives is to bring 21st-century classrooms to every child in South Africa, irrespective of their socioeconomic background.

11. Khula Development Group

With Khula Development Group, you can get free laptops for students in South Africa. This group is a non-profit organization that aims to reduce the number of drop-outs in local schools. However, they are not strictly a laptop distribution program, but they potentially assist students in getting necessary technological resources, such as laptops.

The organization believes that by ensuring access to quality education, it can help break the cycle of poverty. The overall approach is to create a nurturing environment that encourages learning, and technology is often a part of this effort.

12. Rotary Club South Africa

Laptops given out for free are a thing you’d witness high competitiveness. With Rotary Clubs across South Africa, you may get the laptop, thanks to their support for local initiatives and community development projects. These can sometimes include educational programs. Some clubs may run projects that involve providing laptops to deserving students. They also equip schools with computers to help with learning.

The clubs work towards creating opportunities for quality education and skill development. The specifics of the programs, including their availability and application process, can vary from one club to another.

13. The Shuttleworth Foundation

From our findings, The Shuttleworth Foundation doe snot directly give laptops to students in South Africa. However, they have they are known to invest in individuals and projects promoting open knowledge and reform through active learning.

This foundation believes that technology can drive change and has a significant focus on open-source technology. Again, they may not directly provide laptops to South African college students but could help students and educational institutions get access to open technologies that can aid their learning process.

14. Dreams to Reality

Another non-profit organization trying to improve the lives of students from colleges and high schools in SA is Dreams to Reality. The program often involves supporting schools and orphanages in impoverished areas.

Also, they do not directly distribute laptops to students in South Africa but often work with other organizations to provide resources needed by children, including technology.

Their vision is to give every child the tools they need to build a successful future, which can sometimes involve providing access to educational technology.

15. Columba Leadership Academy

Columba Leadership Academy makes this list but they do not directly provide laptops. However, their network and influence can get students to receive laptops for studies. This organization typically works with economically disadvantaged schools to develop young leaders who can be change-makers in their communities.

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Free laptop programs for students in South Africa can help students go a long way. Considering how AI the world is moving, you never know what you can teach yourself as a dedicated student when you eventually lay your hand on a PC if you have no money to afford one for yourself.

Read alsoHow to study for free in South Africa

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