SAB Bursaries

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South African Breweries (SAB) offers comprehensive bursaries in fields relating to its brewing, distribution, marketing, and business management operations.

As one of the oldest companies still in operation throughout the whole of South Africa, the history of SAB can be traced as far back as the 17th century. In the early years of the century, Jan van Riebeeck, the first Dutch governor of the Cape, made arrangements for a brewery to be constructed at the Fort (later replaced by the Castle) in order to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand for beer among the growing population of the colony. This newly established enterprise became known as the Castle Brewery, and was later incorporated as such to become an official company.

The brewery changed hands a number of times over the many years since its establishment, but rarely stopped producing beer for any length of time. In 1895, Castle Breweries was officially founded as a company, allowing it to expand its operations and increase its output considerably. Two years later, the company became the first industrial business in South Africa to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. A year later it was also listed on the London Stock Exchange. These large steps cemented its reputation as one of the country’s foremost companies of any kind, and laid the foundations for its future growth and success.

Needless to say, demand for beer only grew throughout most of the 20th century, allowing the brewery to continue expanding its operations. Along the way, the name was changed from Castle Breweries to South African breweries. The company quickly became the largest producer of beer in the country, surpassing all rivals. SAB also acquired several other brewing companies, and extended its operations to include subsidiary divisions focused on the production of such goods as soft drinks and plate glass, and forays into the entertainment and hospitality industries, to name a few.

Today, South African Breweries, under its international parent company, SABMiller, is one of the world’s largest producers by volume of beer and related products. It is also the leading producer and distributor of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages within South Africa as a whole. As such, its day-to-day operations extend to various locations throughout the country and in many different sectors of industry, while also having a significant impact on the overall South African economy.

SAB Bursary Program Overview

The South African Breweries bursary program is aimed primarily at making a strong contribution to skills development within South Africa, filling in the gaps where skills deficits exist and creating a well-trained and experienced workforce for the future.

By doing so, SAB strives to uphold the economic stability of its industry and the country at large through the provision of bursaries to the skilled workers of the future. At the same time, the program is intended to provide opportunities to promising young students who want to pursue careers in fields related to the multifaceted brewing industry, and particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds who would be unable to do so without financial assistance.

Prospective candidates are evaluated on the basis of their previous academic performance and the talent they have shown in their chosen or intended fields. Eligibility for SAB bursaries are dependent on a number of prerequisite criteria. For students who have not yet enrolled in tertiary studies, these include South African citizenship, a minimum academic average of 75%, and intended completion of a valid matric certificate by the end of the year of application. For those currently studying at a tertiary level, students should be enrolled in a qualification at a recognised tertiary institution that is explicitly covered by an SAB bursary, have achieved a minimum average of 65% for their academics thus far, and demonstrate strong leadership skills. Candidates’ family income may also be evaluated to determine demonstrated need.

Successful candidates are expected to maintain a high standard of academic performance and behavioural conduct throughout their academic career, failing which the awarded bursary may be revoked. Chosen students are also offered the opportunity to engage in work experience at SAB during vacation time or attend summer school to further their training and skills development. Upon successful completion of their studies, candidates may be given the option of full-time employment at SAB as graduate trainees, offering a unique opportunity for further experience in the industry.

Bursary Benefits

As one of the largest companies in the country, SAB offers bursaries that are among the most comprehensive, providing numerous benefits as part of its bursary program. First and foremost, tuition fees for the candidate’s chosen qualification are covered in full, as well as any registration fees, exam fees, and other administrative costs. Accommodation and meals are provided for through a hostel or residence run by the institution at which the candidate is enrolled.

Contributions are made towards books, stationery, and other equipment needed for the successful completion of coursework. Finally, an allowance is also provided for general day-to-day living expenses. All of the above take the financial burden of tertiary education off of bursary recipients and allow them to focus on excelling in their chosen field of study.

Qualifications Covered

A number of SAB bursaries are offered that cover a range of different fields of study that are relevant to the company’s production and business operations, including the areas of brewing, packaging, control/automation, and supply chain management.

These include undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, electrical engineering, electronic engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, mechatronics engineering, food science, biochemistry, and microbiology, as well as qualifications relating to marketing, sales, distribution, human resources, and information technology.

Application Process

The application process for SAB bursaries is significantly streamlined, and can preferably be completed online through the SAB website.

Forms can also be printed, filled out, and mailed to the SAB Bursary Department, PO Box 782178, Sandton, 2146. All necessary supporting documentation (as noted on the forms), including matric certificates, ID copies, and academic transcripts, should be included. The closing date for application is usually towards the end of August annually.

SAB has a 120+ year history as South Africa’s largest beer producer.


Application Due Date
31 August 2018


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