The coffers of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Education Trust have been boosted by half a million Rand personally donated by the force’s Commander-in-Chief, President Jacob Zuma.
He made the announcement during Friday’s Armed Forces Day parade at AFB Bloemspruit, saying “we appreciate the Fund of SANDF Chief General Solly Shoke to educate the children and families of those who lost their lives to protect us”.
The Fund was brought into being last October by Shoke and, including the Presidential pledge, it now stands at a healthy R5 154 000. The country’s top soldier established the Fund as a vehicle to assist the families of soldiers and SANDF civilian members killed or seriously injured while on duty since the formation of the force in 1994.
It is widely accepted that the deaths of 15 soldiers in the Central African Republic (CAR) during the Battle for Bangui last March and the SA Air Force C-47TP crash in the Drakensberg in December 2012 were the catalysts for the Trust’s establishment.
Just five months after it was set up the Trust has already approved 31 bursaries for children who lost a parent on operational duty.
The approved bursaries will diminish the Trust by R348 430 and will pay for a year’s education for 12 primary school children, 15 secondary school scholars and four students attending tertiary institutions. Included in the list of beneficiaries are five dependents of Reserve Force soldiers who were members of 1 Medical Battalion Group.
Individuals, companies and organisations wanting to contribute to the Trust should do so via 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.