The Thuthuka Bursary Programme is a transformation initiative of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) aimed at encouraging previously disadvantaged South African Black and Coloured learners in schools to pursue a career in the Chartered Accountancy (CA) profession. “Thuthuka” is a Zulu word which means “to develop” – it aims to transform South Africa’s business leadership.

The support provided by the Thuthuka Bursary Fund (TBF) includes:

  • Full tuition fees (for each consecutive year that you pass
  • Accommodation
  • Books & Stationery
  • Meals
  • Living and travel allowance

In addition to the financial support, TBF recipients also receive non-financial “wrap-around” support in the form of:

  • Academic support – this includes various academic enrichment programmes such additional tutorials (study sessions), study skills workshops, and more
  • Social and emotional support
  • Work-readiness and life skills training
  • Mentoring and counselling
  • Exposure to experienced Chartered Accountants and business leaders

You qualify to apply for the Nelson Mandela University Thuthuka Bursary Programme if you:

  • Are a South African citizen
  • Are Black African or Coloured
  • Are either in Grade 12 or out of school (with Matric) for no more than two years
  • Have obtained at least 60% (5 or above on the NSC scale of achievement) in Mathematics in Grade 11 (Maths Literacy learners are NOT considered)
  • Have applied (or are in the process of applying) for a BCom Accounting degree (for CAs). An Applicant Score (AS) of at least 410 and Mathematics-% of at least 60% is required.  The AS is calculated by adding up the percentages for six 20-credit subjects. This gives a score out of 600. Life Orientation (LO) is excluded as it is only a 10-credit NSC subject. Applicants from Quintile 1,2 or 3 schools (non-fee paying schools) who attained an LO mark of 50% or more, can add 7 points to arrive at their final AS score.
  • Come from a family that cannot financially support your tertiary education - please note that all candidates will be assessed using the NSFAS means test to determine financial need

If you are selected for the bursary, you will be placed at Nelson Mandela University, a SAICA-accredited university. Nelson Mandela University was initially selected as one of only four SAICA-accredited universities to offer this bursary programme and we are committed to see you pass your examinations and qualify as a CA(SA). 

The Thuthuka programme at Nelson Mandela University is managed by a dedicated Programme Manager and Academic Coordinators for each year of study. This is a limited bursary opportunity and only a number of students can be accommodated.

"The Nelson Mandela University Thuthuka Bursary has given me, and many other students, the opportunity to successfully walk across the graduation stage.  The programme strives to create an optimal learning environment by removing many of the stress factors that you would otherwise face, enabling you to focus on what matters:  your academic performance.  It is an amazing bursary that has shaped the lives of many and provided many students with the opportunity of a lifetime – to pursue their dreams." - Hackeem Hafkey, Thuthuka Graduate



Contact information:  Nelson Mandela University Thuthuka Office

Ms Felancia Du Preez
Thuthuka Project Manager
Tel: +27 41 504 2014

Ms Zukiswa Ngqoyiya
Thuthuka Bursary Programme: Admin Assistant
Tel: +27 41 504 2012

If you have any queries, email questions to


Completing the Thuthuka Bursary Application

To complete the online application form, please visit:

SAICA's annual closing date for applications is 31 August for the following academic year of study.

Attach the following supporting documents:

  1. ID document
  2. ID document(s) of parent(s)/guardian(s)
  3. ID document(s) or birth certificate(s) of person(s) who are dependent on family income
  4. Parent/guardian’s salary advice or affidavit if unemployed
  5. Signed consent form (available to download on the website)
  6. Final Grade 11 results
  7. Final Grade 12 results (if already completed Grade 12)
  8. Full academic transcript if already at University
  9. University’s provisional acceptance letter (to be sent as soon as received)
  10. A stamped letter from your school confirming that you are registered at the school as well as your subjects

All supporting documents must be certified copies signed and stamped by a Commissioner of Oaths.

Importantly, you will also have to apply for and write the National Benchmark Tests (NBT) or submit your results if you have written it already.  For more details about the NBT, or to book for the NBT please visit:

The final acceptance decision is dependent on the applicant's results in the NBT, his/her Grade 12 examinations, and a financial means test.

Download the Thuthuka Bursary Programme brochure here

Download the Thuthuka Application & FAQ brochure here

Watch the Thuthuka @ Nelson Mandela University video here



Thuthuka Photo Galleries

Thuthuka hosts various events and workshops throughout the year as part of the programme. We offer a well-balanced programme to our Thuthuka students.

Contact information
Ms Zukiswa Ngqoyiya
Administrative Assistant: Thuthuka Bursary Programme
Tel: 041 504 2012

Ms Felancia Du Preez
Project Manager: Thuthuka Bursary Programme
Tel: 041 504 2014