The trustees are pleased to be able to report that the Trust is supporting 15 needy students this year. The number is the same as last year, thanks to alumni in the UK who have given generously to the Trust. However, the trustees have serious concerns about the adverse impact of the global economic crisis arising from the war in Ukraine, following closely on the Covid pandemic.
Although the Trust was able to cover an inflation-related increase in bursaries for the current year, large and continuing rises in inflation since March will pose a significant challenge for next year. Students from low-income households will face rising costs as they try to obtain a university education. Many will not be able to start or continue without help such as that provided by the Trust. The negative impact on them, their families, communities and wider society in South Africa should not be underestimated.
At the same time, the ability of alumni in the UK to make donations to the Trust are likely to be constrained by inflationary pressures on their own resources. The Trust will face a real struggle to increase its funding for 2023 to be able to help the same number of students as this year when the costs are higher.