More donations needed to make SANDF Education Trust sustainable

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The SANDF Education Trust has awarded 56 bursaries to the value of more than R700,000 for the current academic year – 17 more than in its first year of existence.

Bursaries for this year will see 26 children of SANDF personnel either killed or seriously wounded in the execution of their duties able to attend primary school. Nineteen bursaries have been awarded to scholars attending secondary schools and the Trust has issued 11 bursaries to students for study at territory institutions.

Five bursaries have been awarded to dependents of Reserve Force members who died while serving their country Colonel Monica Muller, SSO Reserve Force Projects, said.

She said applications were also received for financial aid to nine pre-school children.
“As the Deed of the Trust, in terms of the Income Tax Act, does not provide for financial aid to pre-school applicants the trustees refer these applications to the SANDF Fund. The SANDF Fund has agreed in principle to provide conditional financial support for the school fees of the applicants who are regarded as being in financial need.”

Since it was established by SANDF Chief General Solly Shoke in October 2013 cash donations in excess of R5 million have been received along with pledges for a further R1,6 million.

The Trust has as its only objective to provide study bursaries and scholarships to the dependents of SANDF members killed or severely injured on duty subsequent to April 27, 1994. The Trust will attempt to assist civilian employees of the Department of Defence killed or severely injured while on duty after the same date as well as South African citizens killed or injured in the course of an SANDF operation, provided they were not opposing the military.

Muller said despite wide communication of the Education Trust within the SANDF and to the wider public there are “still many prospective beneficiaries not aware of it. This is why the trustees do not restrict applications to any fixed closing dates. Applications are considered as they are received”.

The closing date for applications for the 2016 academic year is October 15 this year. Enquiries can be directed to Col Muller on 012-355-5107 or [email protected].

Projections done for the trustees indicate future requirements for bursaries and scholarships will be between R800,000 and R1 million a year. This has seen a decision taken to continue with fundraising until such time as the interest earned on capital invested will keep the Education Trust sustainable.

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.