The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Education Trust will this year ensure at least 31 children, left without a breadwinner when their fathers died on were seriously injured while on duty, can continue their education.
The Trust, the brainchild of SANDF Chief General Solly Shoke, was set up in October last year with the sole aim of assisting the families of soldiers killed or badly injured on duty since the establishment of the force in 1994. The ill-fated Battle for Bangui in March last year and the C-47TP crash in the Drakensberg in December 2012 were the catalysts for the Trust.
Contributions from the business and professional sports sectors have given the Trust a healthy start and the amount currently pledged to it is R4 654 000.
The 31 bursaries trustees have approved this year will see this amount depleted by R348 430. This money will pay for a year’s education for 12 primary school and 15 secondary school scholars as well as four students at tertiary institutions. Included in the list of beneficiaries are five dependents of Reserve Force members who served in 1 Medical Battalion Group.
Beneficiaries come from six of South Africa’s nine provinces.
Colonel Monica Muller, manager of the Trust nodal point, said further bursary awards would be announced soon. This includes cases where assistance is still being provided to guardians of applicants where applications and supporting documentation still have to be finalised.