Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Bursary South Africa 2025

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About the Bursary Provider – Department of Water and Sanitation

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is a crucial entity within the South African government, established in 1912 initially as the Department of Irrigation. The department plays a pivotal role in managing the country’s water resources, ensuring that the formulation and implementation of water sector policies are effectively carried out. The DWS's overarching aim is to guarantee that all South Africans have access to clean water and sanitation services, which are fundamental for sustainable economic and social development.

A significant part of DWS’s mission involves the Learning Academy, which is dedicated to aiding students in completing their tertiary education in fields related to water and sanitation. These sectors are identified as scarce skills areas within the country, highlighting the importance of nurturing talent in these fields to ensure future sustainability and development.

The DWS also places a strong emphasis on community engagement and public awareness. Recognizing that effective water and sanitation management requires the active participation of all citizens, the department conducts various outreach programs and educational campaigns. These initiatives aim to inform the public about the importance of water conservation, hygiene practices, and the sustainable use of water resources. By fostering a culture of water stewardship and encouraging responsible behaviors, the DWS seeks to empower communities to take an active role in managing their local water resources and improving sanitation conditions. This holistic approach ensures that the benefits of water and sanitation initiatives are not only sustained but also amplified through community involvement and support.

About the Department of Water and Sanitation Bursary Programme

For the 2025 academic year, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) invites students to apply for its comprehensive bursary programme. This initiative is designed to support students pursuing studies in various disciplines associated with water and sanitation, which are essential for the development and management of South Africa's water resources.

Fields Covered:

Undergraduate Studies

The bursary programme offers support for undergraduate studies in the following fields:

·         Water Project Management (BSc)

·         Mechanical Engineering (National Diploma/ BEng Tech)

·         Environmental Management (BSc)

·         Civil Engineering (BSc/ BEng)

·         Electrical Engineering (Heavy Current) (National Diploma/ BEng Tech)

·         Water Care (National Diploma)

·         Civil Engineering (National Diploma/ BEng Tech)

·         Electrical Engineering (BSc/ BEng)

·         Mechanical Engineering (BSc/ BEng)

Postgraduate Studies

For those pursuing postgraduate studies, bursaries are available in the following fields:

·         Environmental and Water Sciences (BSc Hons)

·         Geohydrology (BSc Hons)

·         Hydrology (BSc Hons)

What Does the Bursary Cover?

The DWS bursary is comprehensive and covers various expenses to ease your financial burden throughout your studies. Here's a breakdown of what's included:

·         Registration Fees: No need to worry about upfront university registration costs.

·         Tuition Fees: The bursary will cover the full cost of your tuition throughout your degree.

·         Book and Stationery Allowance: You'll receive an allowance to purchase essential course materials.

·         Accommodation: The bursary provides financial support for your on-campus or off-campus housing.

·         Food Allowance: A monthly stipend to help with your living expenses, following university guidelines.

·         Monthly Stipend: Additional financial support to cover your day-to-day needs.

Selection Criteria

The DWS bursary is merit-based, and successful applicants will be chosen based on a balanced consideration of the following factors:

·         Academic Performance: Your previous academic record will be a key factor in the selection process.

·         Race and Gender: The DWS aims to promote diversity within the water sector, so race and gender representation will be considered.

·         Financial Need: Demonstrating financial hardship will strengthen your application.

·         Alignment with DWS Needs: The programme prioritizes students pursuing qualifications that meet the department's current needs in water and sanitation.

Upon completing their studies, bursary recipients are required to join the Water Learning Academy for a period of up to three years. This service contract ensures that the skills and knowledge gained through their education are directly applied to the sector, contributing to its development and sustainability.

Selection Process

Candidates who are shortlisted for the bursary will be contacted within three months of the bursary closing date. If applicants do not receive any communication within this period, they should consider their application unsuccessful.

Eligibility Requirements for the DWS Bursary

Applicants must meet the following minimum criteria to be considered for the DWS bursary:

·         Must be a South African citizen

·         Must have completed Matric or be currently in Matric

·         Must intend to study full-time towards one of the listed qualifications

·         Must be entering their first year of study in 2025 (undergraduate or Honours)

Must be studying or intending to study at one of the following public institutions:

·         University of Zululand

·         University of Venda

·         Walter Sisulu University

·         University of the Free State

·         University of Johannesburg

·         University of the Western Cape

·         University of Witwatersrand

·         University of Stellenbosch

·         University of Pretoria

·         University of Mpumalanga

·         University of Limpopo

·         University of KwaZulu-Natal

·         University of Fort Hare

·         University of Cape Town

·         Tshwane University of Technology

·         Sol Plaatje University

·         Rhodes University

·         North West University

·         Nelson Mandela University

·         Durban University of Technology

·         Vaal University of Technology

·         Central University of Technology

·         Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Additional requirements include having a strong academic record, demonstrating financial need, and not receiving any other funding (including NSFAS, bursaries, scholarships, or other awards). Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply, and preference is given to previously disadvantaged students from poor and rural communities.

Application Process and Tips for Success

Application Process

·         Gather Required Documents: Ensure you have all the necessary documents ready, including your Matric certificate, proof of acceptance at a qualifying institution, and financial need evidence.

·         Complete the Application Form: Fill out the bursary application form accurately. Be thorough and ensure all information provided is correct.

·         Submit the Application: Submit your completed application along with the required documents before the closing date. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Tips for Success

·         Start Early: Begin your application process well in advance of the deadline to avoid last-minute issues.

·         Highlight Your Achievements: Make sure to highlight your academic achievements and any relevant extracurricular activities.

·         Demonstrate Financial Need: Clearly articulate your financial need in your application to improve your chances of receiving the bursary.

·         Seek Assistance: If you need help with your application, seek advice from teachers, mentors, or previous bursary recipients.

How to Apply?

·         Click here to download the application document.

·         Applications should be sent via email to:

·         Be sure to write "DWS Bursary Application 2025" in the subject line of the email.

·         Also write “” when asked where you heard about this bursary.

Closing Date:

30 September 2024.

The Impact of the DWS Bursary Programme

The DWS bursary programme has a significant impact on both the recipients and the broader community. By supporting students in critical fields of study, the programme helps to address the shortage of skills in the water and sanitation sector. This, in turn, contributes to the sustainable management of South Africa’s water resources and ensures that all citizens have access to clean water and proper sanitation services.

Bursary recipients not only gain valuable education and training but also have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to their communities through their work. The service contract with the Water Learning Academy ensures that these talented individuals are integrated into the workforce, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to the sector.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) bursary for the 2025 academic year offers a unique opportunity for students passionate about contributing to the water and sanitation sector. By providing comprehensive financial support and ensuring practical experience through the Water Learning Academy, the DWS bursary programme is a vital initiative for building a sustainable future for South Africa. Interested students are encouraged to apply and take the first step towards a rewarding career in a field that is crucial for the nation’s development.


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