Vision: To educationally empower previously disadvantaged students entering the workplace and provide South Africa with qualified professionals in identified critical industry fields that contribute towards the progression and development of South Africa’s socio-economic status.
Poverty and education are inextricably linked with a gap in education leading to increased potential for poverty and poverty leading to education being lower on the list of priorities. However, education most certainly brings the potential to eliminate poverty minimising the impact of unemployment and inequality statistics in South Africa.
It is The JB Marks Education Trust Fund’s mandate to address the need for empowerment through education amongst NUM members and their dependents.
Established by NUM in 1997, the fund has spent over two decades comprehensively addressing the need to empower NUM members and their children and beneficiaries, particularly graduates entering the mining, energy and construction industries.
Put plainly, the Trust was set up to facilitate access to further education and personal development for the beneficiaries and their dependents and aims to assist in the transformation of the South African economy through the injection of skills into these sectors and providing its beneficiaries with a competitive advantage in the labour market through further education.
What makes the JB Marks Education Trust Fund particularly important to the upliftment of these communities is its focus on the dependents of the NUM members or the future of this country and many have received educational bursaries across the span of the Trust’s existence.
In fact, over the past two decades, JB Marks has provided bursaries to members ultimately enabling 1 121 benefactors to graduate with mainstream qualifications in mining, energy, construction and even medicine.
The Trust has worked tirelessly to pursue the wishes of its namesake, John Beaver Marks, an activist and legendary South African leader who valued education above all and believed it was the truest form of empowerment and that worker emancipation was only achievable through learning. It has achieved much in the way of providing funds to cover tuition, registration, accommodation, tutorage, meals and bridging courses to over 1 000 bursary recipients and has disbursed R286 million to over 2 000 beneficiaries. In 2017, 200 bursaries were awarded, bringing the total number of students in the pipeline to 700 undergraduates and 50 post-graduates.
The Trust receives most of its funding from MIT through dividends from MIC, which in turn enables it to deliver on John Beaver’s vision.