Education, or, more specifically, free education remains a contentious issue in South Africa. With the well-being and economic empowerment of current and future generations directly linked to the accessibility and affordability of quality education- something the #FeesMustFall movement powerfully shone a spotlight on- it’s high time that the Government and the Nation take action and implement various initiatives to help the cause. After all, education is a Constitutional right.
Thankfully, the SmartFunder Education Bursary Fund is a great step forward in making sure young South Africans have access to education.
What is the SmartFunder Education Bursary Fund in South Africa?
SmartFunder is a company that administers Educational Bursary Schemes on behalf of various employers in South Africa. Essentially, this is where the private sector can step in and help employers pay for their children’s education.
If an employee earns less than R600 000 a year (total remuneration) and pays for their child(ren) or relative’s school or university fees, the company will qualify for this benefit. This simply means that the employer will move the employee’s education expenses from a post-tax to a pre-tax expense, by way of a new company benefit.
What is the maximum amount an employee can receive through SmartFunder Education Bursary Fund?
For school-goers (Grade R to Grade 12), an employee qualifies for a maximum R20 000 bursary, and for students (college or university, NQF level 5 -10), an employee qualifies for a maximum R60 000 bursary.
Expenses covered by the SmartFunder Education Bursary Fund include:
- Registration fees
- School fees
- Stationery and equipment
These are all paid directly to the school, college or university.
What does it cost to benefit from the SmartFunder Education Bursary Fund?
There is no cost for a company, since SmartFunder will process the tax-deductible education bursary benefit on their behalf. However, for employees, there is a monthly administration fee that is deducted from their savings. The administration fee is approximately 10% of the savings an employee receives from SARS and is calculated according to the employee’s income.
The future of South Africa #EducationForAll
We cannot deny that an educated society plays a major role in ensuring a bright and sustainable future for a country, and this is particularly relevant in South Africa. So, employees, ask your employer about the SmartFunder Education Bursary to help you empower your loved ones.