Murray & Roberts Bursaries

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Murray & Roberts offers bursary packages to promising students looking to pursue studies towards a career in the construction industry.

Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd is one of South Africa’s leading contractors in the areas of mining, engineering, and construction, with additional forays into the sectors of oil and natural gas as well as power and energy. Officially founded in 1902, the company has an impressively long track record, during which it has taken on some of the largest and most numerous construction projects in the country, including the Gautrain railroad, the Medupi Power Station, and the Cape Town Stadium, among many others. Murray & Roberts is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and in addition to South Africa, has business dealings and operations throughout the African continent, as well as in the Middle East, North America, South America, Southeast Asia, and Australasia.

The history of Murray & Roberts begins with its establishment as a house building company in 1902 (then called The Roberts Construction Co.), in what was then the Cape Colony. A joint venture by founders Douglas Murray, who inherited his father’s construction company, Murray & Stewart, and Douglas Roberts, a friend and colleague, the pair were later joined by Andrew Roberts, and with the combined expertise of these three expert entrepreneurs and contractors, the new company rapidly gained traction in the emerging construction market, quickly moving from strength to strength. The new company also played a major role in developing this key industry and its infrastructure.

While initially focused geographically on the Cape area and diversifying into construction materials and services as well as the industrial sector, towards the middle of the twentieth century, Roberts Construction expanded its operations into the rest of Africa and beyond. In 1951, the company was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Following Douglas Murray’s death in 1964, Roberts Construction began to adopt a more industrialised approach to its construction operations. 1967 also saw the official forming of Murray & Roberts under that name when The Roberts Construction Co. was merged with Murray & Stewart. Over the next few decades, the company saw an extended period of diversification and acquisition, particularly as the company strove to maintain adequate growth during a period of decline in the construction sector due to the apartheid sanctions. Nonetheless, between 1980 and 1994, Murray & Roberts attracted significant investment, particularly from Sanlam.

During the first decade of the twenty-first century, Murray & Roberts experienced significant growth, with overall revenue quadrupling during this time as the South African government embarked on numerous large-scale projects to improve infrastructure around the country and to prepare for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Murray & Roberts Bursary Program Overview

The Murray & Roberts bursary program was established to create opportunities for tertiary education in the many fields that are involved in the broad-based construction and engineering industries, and to extend these opportunities to promising young students who have the potential to offer unique perspectives and provide skilled labour and expertise to their chosen fields. By making such opportunities more widely available, Murray & Roberts hopes to create a steady stream of talent that can support the South African construction industry for many years to come, and address a skills shortage in these areas.

In particular, bursaries are offered to candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially those who show significant academic aptitude and drive but lack the necessary resources to develop these skills further by undergoing training at a tertiary institution. Furthermore, by requiring that bursary recipients agree to work for Murray & Roberts for a period equal to the duration of their bursary following the successful completion of their studies, the company also provides lasting opportunities for gainful employment as well as further skills development and training.

Murray & Roberts bursaries are awarded from second year only, and through consultation with universities to identify the most likely candidates. Criteria for eligibility include South African citizenship and/or permanent residency, current enrolment at a recognised tertiary institution for a relevant full-time qualification, a valid matric certificate including Science and Mathematics exemption, and strong academic results with a minimum average of 65%.

Murray & Roberts bursaries are subject to a strict review process whereby the academic performance of the bursary recipient will be assessed each semester and renewed (or not) based on this performance. This ensures that successful candidates maintain good academic standing and complete their qualifications with a high level of success. Vacation work is also compulsory as part of the bursary requirements.

Bursary Benefits

Murray & Roberts bursaries provide benefits that cover most of the major costs involved in studying towards a tertiary qualification. First and foremost, all tuition fees are covered by the bursary, as well as registration fees and examination fees. All prescribed books are also subsidised as part of the bursary package.

Furthermore, bursary recipients may receive either funding for residential accommodation and meals at a residence or hostel run by the institution at which the student is enrolled, or an equivalent stipend to cover and food, accommodation, and travelling expenses.

Qualifications Covered

Murray & Roberts bursaries cover a range of qualifications that are applicable to the construction and engineering industries.

While the specific qualifications covered vary from year to year based on the company’s changing requirements, bursaries are generally available for Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering, or Bachelor of Technology degrees majoring in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Building/Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Quantity Surveying, and Industrial Engineering.

Application Process

Application for a Murray & Roberts bursary can usually be done via the company’s website, where all necessary information, including supporting documents such as academic records and ID copies, can be provided.

From the other side, Murray & Roberts also consults with recognised tertiary institutions to identify and review promising candidates.  As the bursary application process is currently under review as of 2016, Murray & Roberts is currently using only the latter method to award bursaries. Interested students are advised to contact the company directly for further information.

Murray & Roberts has a 114 year history in the Oil & Gas, Mining and Power Generation industries.


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