Johannesburg mayor Mpho Parks Tau has recognised the good work done by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Education Trust and has pledged the proceeds of his 2014 Mayoral Charity Golf Day to the Trust.
Trustee, Major General Roy Andersen, SANDF Reserve Force Chief, said the announcement was made at Randpark Golf Club on Friday.
“The mayor indicated the role of the SANDF was a vital one and the City of Johannesburg wanted soldiers to have peace of mind that their children will be educated should they die or be severely injured during service,” Andersen said, adding the exact amount would only be determined at a later stage but it “will be in excess of R1 million”.
The boost to the Trust’s coffers’ comes in the month of its first anniversary when it made bursaries valued at over R440 000 available to 39 children. All are dependents of soldiers and Department of Defence civilian employees killed, wounded or injured in service to the extent they cannot perform their duties any longer.
The Education Trust is the brainchild of its chief General Solly Shoke and became a reality last October.
Andersen said the Trust had also attracted the attention of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
“The Trust’s commitment toward continuing education will be further supported by five bursaries annually starting next year for tertiary studies for students selected by trustees,” he said.
Last month saw three bursaries valued at R81 000 awarded, bringing to R440 076 the value of bursaries awarded to date. The breakdown of bursaries sees 18 going to secondary school scholars, 13 to primary school scholars and eight to students at tertiary institutions.
Andersen said 11 applications were received for financial aid to pre-school learners but the Deed of the Trust, in terms of the Income Tax Act, does not provide for financial aid to pre-schoolers.
“These applications have been referred to the SANDF Fund which has agreed in principle to provide conditional financial support for the school fees of the applicants, regarded as being in financial need.
“Taking these 11 into account, a total of 46 dependents have been assisted,” he said.
The object of the SANDF Education Trust is to provide bursaries and scholarships for study purposes to the dependents of SANDF members killed or severely injured after April 27, 1994, while on official duty; civilian members of the Department of Defence killed or severely injured after April 27, 1994, while deployed on operations with the SANDF; and South African citizens killed or injured subsequent to the same date during the course of an operation of the SANDF, provided they were not engaged in an activity in opposition to the aims of the SANDF operation.
Families wanting to apply for financial assistance are reminded the closing date for applications for the 2015 academic year is October 15.
The death of 15 South African soldiers during the Battle for Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the crash of an SA Air Force Agusta A-109 light utility helicopter in the Kruger National Park were the major motivators behind Shoke establishing the Trust.
More than R4 million has been donated to the Trust with a further R687 000 pledged to date. These figures do not include the Johannesburg mayoral pledge.
Contributions can be made to the SANDF Education Trust; Nedgroup Trust, Resident Trust Account, Nedbank. The branch is Corporate Client Services, 145209 and the account number is 1452016976. The reference SANDF Edu Trust and donor’s name should accompany all deposits.