Transnet Bursaries

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Transnet offers comprehensive full-time bursaries to candidates wishing to pursue careers in fields relating to its many operating divisions.

Transnet is one of South Africa’s largest state-owned enterprises, with operations in the country’s railways, ports, pipelines, and other infrastructure. Transnet was originally developed out of the railway network that was built to connect much of South Africa in the nineteenth century. In 1961, at the time of the Union of South Africa, the whole of the railway network, which at the time included the separate operational entities of the Central South African Railways, the Cape Government Railways and the Natal Government Railways, were all combined to become a state-owned enterprise as part of a new Act of Parliament. This new unified railway network was known as the South African Railways and Harbours (SAR&H).

In 1981, in an effort to combine and simplify these multifaceted infrastructure networks and their operations, South Africa’s railway, harbour, road transport, aviation and pipeline operations were unified under one administrative body, known as the South African Transport Services (SATS). Finally, in 1990, Transnet evolved from the SATS as a public company.

Today, Transnet is divided into four key operational areas. The Transnet National Ports Authority provides infrastructure and administration at South Africa’s eight commercial seaports, as well as managing South African exports. South Africa’s six largest ports – Richard’s Bay, Durban, Saldahna, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and East London – are all managed by Transnet. Transnet Pipelines manages South Africa’s key fuel and gas pipelines. Transnet Freight Rail (formerly known as Spoornet) is Transnet’s largest division, and manages the transportation of heavy freight along South Africa’s railway network. Transnet Engineering is responsible for the maintenance and upgrading of all railway equipment and infrastructure, including freight cars, locomotives, mail and passenger coaches, wheels, rotating stock machines, and the railway lines themselves.

Transnet Bursary Program Overview

As one of South Africa’s major state-owned companies, Transnet recognizes its responsibility regarding the country’s economic future and the maintenance of a skilled workforce that can continue to support its multifaceted infrastructure needs. To this end, Transnet offers a comprehensive bursary program that is intended to provide opportunities for promising young students who wish to pursue careers in fields that can contribute to the company and its many operations.

In particular, the bursaries Transnet offered are aimed at candidates from underprivileged backgrounds who would otherwise be unable to pursue tertiary education in these fields. In this way, the Transnet bursary program also helps to increase diversity in South African industry, ensuring that the future development of Transnet as a company and South Africa’s infrastructure at large can be informed by expertise and ideas from many unique perspectives.

In choosing candidates who would make suitable bursary recipients, Transnet looks for students who show significant promise in their academic studies and have an interest in joining the Transnet workforce upon completion of their studies. Prospective candidates should have high grades in their high school subjects, and particularly science and mathematics, to be considered. Prospective candidates may apply while still in high school, or may be studying at a tertiary institution currently.

Specific criteria for bursary recipients, as well as the fields of study in which bursaries are offered, change from year to year depending on Transnet’s employment needs. All bursary recipients are viewed as potential additions to the Transnet workforce, and upon successful completion of their studies may be offered full time employment at one of the company’s many operational divisions. The majority of bursary recipients are required to work at Transnet for a period equivalent to the duration of the bursary.

Under the terms of the bursary, students are required to maintain a satisfactory academic performance throughout the period of their studies, and will be responsible for paying for any courses that they may fail. Too many failed courses, or unsatisfactory grades, may lead to the bursary being revoked.

Bursary Benefits

As one of the country’s most comprehensive and widely sought-after bursary packages, Transnet bursaries offer a wide range of benefits to successful applicants. First and foremost, all bursaries cover university tuition fees in full, as well as any registration fees, exam fees, or other administrative costs. Accommodation at a hostel or residence run by the university at which the candidate is enrolled is also covered, as are meals provided by the same.

An allowance is given towards any books, stationery, or other equipment that may be required for the successful completion of the candidate’s studies. From second year onwards, a further allowance is provided for the purchase of a laptop computer to further aid the bursary recipient in completing his or her coursework. Finally, a regular stipend is allowed to cover day-to-day living expenses. All of these benefits take the financial pressure of a tertiary education off Transnet bursary recipients, so that they can focus on excelling within their chosen fields.

Qualifications Covered

Transnet bursaries cover a fairly wide range of qualifications in fields relating to the day-to-day operations of the company’s various divisions, and vary from year to year based on the company’s projected needs.

Within the Engineering and Built Environment faculty, Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electro-Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Computer Engineering may potentially be covered by a Transnet bursary.

Within the Science faculty, the same goes for a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. Within the Commerce faculty, Bachelor of Commerce degrees in Logistics, Informatics, Accounting, Economics, and Information Systems Technology may also be subsidized.

Application Process

Prospective candidates can apply for a Transnet bursary by downloading an application form from the Transnet website, or obtaining one from a regional Transnet office.

Completed forms, along with any supporting documents such as ID copies or academic records, should be submitted by post or by fax to the Transnet Bursary Office, Room 4206, Carlton Centre,150 Commissioner Street, Johannesburg (Tel: 011 308 2799, Fax: 011 774 9235). Applications are open between 1 May and 31 July annually.

Transnet is South Africa’s Port & Rail authority offering trade jobs to thousands.


Application Due Date
31 July 2018


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