SITFE’s core mandate is to implement public benefit activities provided that all such activities are carried out in a not-for-profit manner and with a philanthropic intent without directly promoting the economic self-interest of any trustee or employee of the Trust Fund.

SITFE is therefore expected to provide funds, services, and other resources by way of donations for the development of educational infrastructure; provision of bursaries to students from disadvantaged backgrounds; and any other initiatives that support the educational objectives of the sugar industry. As part of SITFE’s strategic focus, the fund also partners with relevant government departments as well as non-governmental organisations to improve the provision of quality education within the sugarcane-growing communities.

Brief Overview

The Sugar Industry Trust Fund for Education (SITFE) was launched in 1965 as a private-sector initiative and is regarded as one of the oldest Trust Funds in South Africa. The mission of SITFE is to support, promote and advance sustainable, quality education in South African sugarcane growing areas.

In its 58 years history, SITFE has provided bursaries to over 10 200 students, financed school building projects, provided financial assistance to tertiary institutions, and has worked closely with educational organisations to improve the overall education standard in the sugarcane growing provinces, namely KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

Meet our Trustess

The Sugar Industry Fund for Education is a Non-profit organisation managed by Trustees. These Trustees manage the Trust Fund out of goodwill and do not gain income for services rendered.


SITFE supports a wide range of programmes ranging from the school support; study assistance programme; in school support; early childhood development; and an education centre development programmes.



The study assistance programme continues to enjoy significant industry and external stakeholder support and recognition. This programme is regarded as the sugar industry’s flagship programme and key mechanism to assist government to redress inequalities in the field of science, agriculture and engineering. The objective of the programme is to increase the number of high potential learners from disadvantaged backgrounds with access to quality education and training


This programme focuses on ensuring that young children between the ages of 0 and 5 years have access to quality, sustainable early childhood education, and care so that they can develop to their full educational and personal potential.



The aim of the programme is to provide expert tuition for an academic year in order to give these carefully selected learners the opportunity to upgrade their Matric results in maths, science, technology, and finance-related fields subjects and gain sufficient points to study at tertiary level.


This programme is committed to empowering talented but disadvantaged youth with optimal scientific, mathematical, technological, engineering and life skills to access and succeed in STEM based careers. The programme also focuses on teacher development for mathematics and science at the FET level (Grades 10 to 12).


The centre’s focus is to create an inspired space for talented young people, to ignite their intellectual growth, to develop their critical thinking skills, to challenge them through traditional and experimental strategies, to instil in them a sense of citizenship and to positively influence the larger educational community. These fully equipped centres and laboratories will improve access to science resources for disadvantaged teachers and learners.


To view the historical timeline of SITFE’s journey click below.