“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

– Nelson Mandela


With an official unemployment rate of 26%, a poverty rate estimated at approximately 50%, South Africa has one of the most severe measures of inequality in the world. The democratic government of South Africa, faced with the substantial challenge of addressing poverty, inequality and unemployment, has made human capital investment a major priority to ensure that the economically disadvantaged populace, have access to opportunities to become economically savvy, skillful and employable.


Research commissioned by the Department for Social Development, reported that South Africa has 7.7 million social grant beneficiaries, of which have proven to have reduced poverty and continue to play a developmental role in the upliftment of poor households. South Africa’s main social grants: State Old Age Pension (SOAP), Child Support Grant (CSG) and the Disability Grant (DG) have been found to have had broad impacts, due to income sharing within households.



“Economic theory suggests that social grants, by raising incomes, affect education in three ways: first, to the extent that there are financial barriers to school attendance – purchasing school supplies, uniforms, tuition, transportation, etc. – the boost in disposable income provided by a social grant could help pay the otherwise unaffordable costs of attending school. [1. The Social and Economic Impact of South Africa’s Social Security System (2004) Commissioned by the Directorate: Finance and Economics, Produced by the Economic Policy Research Institute. Download]

“Second, a grant could relieve the opportunity cost of school attendance; with a cash transfer in hand a family might be more able to forgo a child’s contribution to household income (or food production in the case of subsistence farmers) in favour of making a long-term investment in education. Third, by indirectly increasing the resources available to schools, the quality of education may improve, making education a more attractive option to households.”

As many poor children have been unable to attend school, largely due to the costs associated with education, the social security grants have been able to counter the negative effects of unemployment, by providing households with more resources to finance education.

“The old-age pension transfer programme is particularly effective in this regard. Findings show a positive and statistically significant effect of government pension transfers on school attendance rates of poor children.”

The impact of SOAP transfers on poor school-age girls was particularly strong.

The research uncovered that school-age girls who live in pensioner households, were seven percent more likely to attend school full-time (in comparison with boys at three percent). It added that “quantitatively, a R500 [about US $86] increase in official pension transfers to a poor household of five would increase the probability of attending school by an estimated two percent for a school-age boy and five percent for a girl … the positive effects of social security on education are greater for girls than for boys, helping to remedy gender disparities [in education].”

Both SOAP and the CSG were significantly associated with improvements in school attendance. “They contribute to a virtuous cycle, with long-term dynamic benefits that are not easily measured by statistical analysis,” the report noted.


Bursaries are offered by Mineral Commodities to external individuals (i.e. members of the Community) and employees who wish to study for a tertiary qualification in a mining related diploma or degree. As per recommendations by the DMR, Bursaries will also be awarded in studies that are not central to the mining industry.

Bursaries are awarded in the following fields of study:
(a) Mining;
(b) Engineering;
(c) Finance;
(d) Environment;
(e) Geology;
(f) Metallurgy;
(g) Human Resource; and
(h) Supply Chain Management.
Mineral Sands will allocate an approximate amount of R100 000 with 10% escalation per year per student who will be studying at the University. The allocated amount will cover tuition, books, allowance and accommodation.
Mineral Sands will provide bursaries over a period of 5 years.

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