Denel Bursaries

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Denel Dynamics offers comprehensive bursary packages to students wishing to study towards careers in the fields of engineering and technology.

Denel Dynamics is a division of Denel SOC Ltd, a leading manufacturer and developer of armaments and weaponry based in South Africa. The company is currently state-owned, and is the largest manufacturer of defensive equipment in the country, operating mainly in the areas of military aerospace and land-based defence. Denel operates as both a key domestic supplier, particularly to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), providing both a wide range of new equipment as well as overseeing the maintenance, repair, refurbishment, and upgrade of existing equipment that forms a part of the national arsenal. The majority of Denel’s products are designed, developed, and manufactured within South Africa.

As an international supplier, Denel also serves a number of overseas clients, including the defence forces of several countries in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and South America, and provides various systems, sub-systems, consumables, and components to this client base. These include products such as tactical missiles, precision guided weapons, unmanned aerial vehicle systems.

Denel’s origins as a company can be traced back to the mid-1960s, at a time when research and development into missile and rocket technology was at a peak. 1964 saw the founding of the Institute for Rocket Research, which effectively formed the roots of the company that would develop into the Denel of today. This institute was later renamed to the National Institute for Defence Research, and formed an important part of the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

By 1978, the National Institute for Defence Research had expanded its operations to include production of various armaments, which led to the founding of Kentron (Pty) Ltd, a weapons production company that formed part of the Armscor group. Kentron was tasked with overseeing the manufacturing and supply of various defence systems. In 1984, the company was embroiled in a brief international scandal in which four of its employees were arrested in the United Kingdom on charges of violating the United Nations arms embargo then in place against the apartheid government that existed in South Africa at the time. In 1992, Kentron was incorporated as a private company in terms of the South African Companies Act (No. 62 of 1973), to become part of the newly-formed Denel group, and entered into the export market with a range of military products. As a result of further restructuring between 2004 and 2006, Kentron became Denel Aerospace Systems, and finally, Denel Dynamics.

Today, the South African government is the sole shareholder of Denel SOC, with an independent board of directors appointed by the Minister for Public Enterprises that is responsible for the executive decision-making and day-to-day management of the company. Company headquarters are located in Centurion, Gauteng, with various manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout South Africa. Denel SOC has also attained Level-3 Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) status.

Denel Bursary Program Overview

The Denel bursary program was put into place to create opportunities for promising young students who show a passion for engineering and its high-technology applications to pursue careers in various fields that are relevant to the armaments and defence industries. The company actively seeks out only the highest-achieving, most innovative, and determined candidates to become Denel bursary recipients, with the ultimate goal of including them in the Denel workforce upon successful completion of their studies.

By facilitating these kinds of opportunities for higher education and skills training, the bursary program Denel aims to establish a talent pipeline that can continue to supply the industry with highly qualified professionals for years to come, filling a skills deficit that currently exists in these areas within South Africa. In addition to benefitting the industry as a whole, the Denel bursary program also seeks to create benefits for South African communities by offering bursaries to candidates from previously disadvantaged or impoverished backgrounds.

By selecting students who show great promise in their academics from such communities, Denel bursaries not only create opportunities for upliftment, but also invite unique and diverse perspectives on the industry to contribute to its overall development. In order to qualify for a Denel bursary, prospective candidates should hold South African citizenship (specifically by birth only), and must have been accepted to a recognised tertiary institution for a relevant study program. An academic average of no less than sixty percent is an additional requirement.

The candidate’s academic record must also show that no subjects have been failed at any point. Candidates who have received any other bursary in the past will be automatically excluded in favour of those who have not previously received any kind of funding.

Bursary Benefits

Denel bursaries offer comprehensive coverage of the major costs involved in pursuing tertiary education, as well as some additional benefits that lighten the financial load even further. First and foremost, tuition at a recognised institution is covered in full, as well as any registration and examination fees.

The bursary also pays for books and other necessary study equipment. Accommodation at a hostel or residence run by the institution at which the candidate is enrolled is also subsidised. An allowance is given for a personal computer to assist with the completion of coursework, while a stipend is also provided to account for general day-to-day living costs.

Qualifications Covered

Denel bursaries are offered for a select range of qualifications that have applications in the arms industry.

These include Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Science degrees and/or National Diplomas in the fields of Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering, Mechatronic Engineering, and Computer Engineering.

Application Process

Application for a Denel bursary can be made online via the company’s website once the candidate has registered online with the company itself.

All necessary information should be supplied as per the given fields, and supporting documents such as curriculum vitae and academic records should be uploaded as part of the application. Applications for Denel bursaries are usually open from April to August annually.

Denel invests over 500 million in military research and development each year.


Application Due Date
31 August 2018


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