Cape Town City Financial Support and Funding

Cape Town City Financial Support and Funding.

We understand that studying can be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to get financial support for your education – whether from government, social organisations or private companies. At the City, we offer financial support for a number of applicants each year.

External bursaries from the City

Although higher education falls under national government, each year the City of Cape Town offers up to 45 external bursaries in skills we consider ‘scarce’ or important for our economy.

Scarce skills are skills which not many people have, such as engineering, or science. Our scarce skills financial support is for full-time studies only, and covers:

  • registration;
  • tuition;
  • examination fees;
  • capped book allowance;
  • may include accommodation and transport (where a proven need exists).

View a list of scarce skills currently in demand at the City.

While you are studying, the relevant department at the City will help you with any practical training you need for your course. We will also appoint someone to mentor you – usually an appropriate person from the department funding your studies.

“Thanks to the external bursary I have now obtained my qualification in Town and Regional Planning. I’m very happy that on completion of my course I was afforded the opportunity to work for the City of Cape Town.”Muneerah Siamat(National Diploma: Town and Regional Planning), now permanently employed as Assistant Professional Officer by the City’s Land Use and Management Department

How we select students

Selection is based on the following:

  • Your financial need
  • The relevant department’s staffing strategy (for example, candidates from previously disadvantaged backgrounds only/women only etc.)
  • Any specific requirements for the selected scarce skill (for example, an “A” in maths)

Important requirements

  • External bursaries are only open to residents of South Africa.
  • You must be finishing school or in your first, second or third year of studies in the fields (scarce or critical skills) predetermined and advertised by the City by us.
  • The external bursaries are relevant only for full-time undergraduate or postgraduate degrees and diplomas at approved tertiary institutions.

After your studies

Once you have completed your studies, you will need to work for us for the same number of years as the period of funding. If we don’t have a job vacancy for you when you have finished studying, we will release you from this agreement and, if possible, guide you in the right direction to find a position somewhere else.

For more information on applying for bursaries from the City of Cape Town:

  • call our HR Service Desk: 021 400 3434; or
  • check your community and weekend newspapers for any of our adverts.

Visit our City Connect portal for a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a bursary from the City.


Apply for a bursary

“I hope one day I will be able to help other students achieve their goals just as the City of Cape Town helped me.”Lubabalo Manyi(National Diploma Electrical Engineering), now permanently employed as a technician by the City’s Electricity Department

Other ways to fund your studies

If you need financial assistance for your studies, it’s important to look around and approach a range of companies and organisations. Here are some good ways to look for support:

  • See this list of bursaries from the Western Cape Government, Western Cape universities, National Government departments and public entities as well as international bursaries.
  • See the Department of Higher Education and Training’s Bursary Pack, which includes the latest bursaries for the current year.
  • Find a summary of the latest corporate and government-sponsored bursaries around South Africa here.
  • Grab a copy of The Bursary Register, an updated guide with a list of institutions and companies that offer bursaries, scholarships and loans (available in hard copy only). To order, call 072 226 1684 or send an email to and request an order form.
  • NB – make sure you order the book well in advance so that you have enough time to study it and start applying.

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