In addition to already ensuring 33 dependents of SANDF Regular and Reserve Force members can continue learning the SA National Defence Force Education Trust has expanded its work to include pre-school costs for another six children.
This, said Major General Roy Andersen, was done via an agreement with another fund because it cannot be done through the Education Trust for “tax reasons”.
The Trust is the brainchild of SANDF Chief, General Solly Shoke, and has as its sole aim to assist the families of soldiers and civilian Department of Defence and SANDF employees killed or injured during the execution of their duties subsequent to April 27, 1994.
The death of 15 soldiers in the ill-fated Battle for Bangui last March as well as the loss of SAAF personnel in two aircraft crashes, a C-47TP in the Drakensberg in December 2012 that left 11 dead and five more killed when an Agusta A109 crashed in the Kruger National Park last March, was the catalyst for the Trust’s establishment last October.
The bursaries allocated to date are for dependents of 27 SANDF members and six Reserve Force members and cover 12 at primary school, 16 at secondary school and five at tertiary education institutions. Andersen said the total cost to date was R362 572 all of which has been paid directly to the educational institutions involved.
Since its official launch during a dinner function convened by Shoke the Trust has received R3 177 334 in cash and a further R 2 107 166 has been pledged to it. The total amount of funding available to the Trust for either disbursement or investment currently stands at R5 284 500.
The largest donors to the Trust are Orlando Pirates FC, Kaiser Chiefs FC, the SA Army Foundation, Transnet Limited and the Jacob Zuma Foundation.
On what lies ahead Andersen said further applications for bursaries are expected.
“If we assume the annual cost will be in the region of R500 000, then to ensure future bursaries are paid out of revenue – investment income – and not capital so that the Trust is sustainable, we will have to continue fund raising. This we are doing. Donations from companies will be tax deductible as the Trust has obtained S18A status from SARS.
“We have audited accounts to 28 February and needless to say KPMG have given an unqualified opinion. Prospective donors can contact us at [email protected],” he said.
Alternatively, contributions can be made to 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