Education was supported by 98% of companies and received 44% of average CSI expenditure in 2022. It has been the most supported sector since first measured in 1998. CSI spend is based on data from the 65 large companies that participated in Trialogue’s primary research survey in 2022, as well as data from the previous editions of the Handbook.
Percentage of company support for education
There has been a significant shift in corporate education funding. Most notably, more funding is now allocated to ECD than before, as ECD becomes integrated into the DBE and there is more shared knowledge on the need to invest earlier in a child’s development. Additionally, as companies become more strategic, they tend to fund teacher development and other systems levers, which is a trend that we anticipate will continue.
From a subject matter perspective, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) still receives the most funding and this will likely continue, given the future skills required in the workplace. While there were some shifts towards greater online support for learners during the pandemic, these have not had a major impact on funding patterns in the sector.
Level of education
- Early childhood development education received 27% of education spend, significantly up from 13% in 2021. This was anticipated as the responsibility for the sector moves to the DBE and it becomes more formalised.
- Over one-third of the education spend (38%) was allocated to school-level education (general education plus further education and training), down from 52% in 2021. The drop in education spend for school-level education is due to increased expenditure on ECD.
- Tertiary education received 30% of education expenditure, in line with 2021 (29%).
- In line with previous years, maths and science were the
most supported subjects, receiving an average of 30% of
CSI education spend. Another 29% of education spend is not subject specific.
- Language and literacy received an average of 10% of CSI education spend – the same as in 2021.
- Vocational and technical education (3%) and financial literacy (2%) continue to receive the smallest share of average
CSI education spend.
Type of intervention
- As in previous years, the largest portion of CSI education spend was on bursaries, scholarships and university chairs (27%).
- Learner development continues to receive the second-largest allocation of CSI education spend (18%), though down from 22% in 2021.
- CSI education spend on teacher education increased to
14% in 2022 (from 11% in 2021). This trend is anticipated to continue as funders focus on systemic levers of change in the education system.
- Average education spend on infrastructure, facilities and equipment increased from 10% in 2021 to 14% in 2022, the highest in the past four years.
- School governance, leadership and functionality;
ICT infrastructure; and special needs interventions continue to be less of a priority, with each receiving less than 5% of average CSI education spend.
Type of learner support interventions
- Companies funding learner development were asked which interventions they supported. The largest share of average CSI spend on learner development (49%) was allocated to programmes directly serving learners outside of school hours, followed by an allocation of one-third (34%) to programmes directly serving learners during school hours.
- Ed-tech serving learners remotely received the smallest amount of average education spend on learner development in
The changing education landscape
• Government´s budget for education in 1996/97 was R40 billion, constituting 21% of consolidated government expenditure and 6.5% of gross domestic product (GDP).
• The Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) curriculum, ‘Curriculum 2005’, was introduced.
• The first National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations took place in 1996, with a pass rate of 54%.
• There were 12 313 899 learners, 27 461 ordinary public and private schools, and 365 447 educators.
• National Curriculum Statement for grades R – 12 2002 (NCS) was introduced.
• Between 2003 and 2005, the original 36 universities and technikons were merged into 23 institutions of higher learning.
• Fees for the poorest schools were eliminated, and in 2007 no-fee schools were introduced and expanded, to include the poorest 60% over the next few years.
• The Department of Education split into two: the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).
• A National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) – a single, comprehensive, concise policy document for all subjects listed in the National Curriculum Statement for grades R – 12 – was introduced.
• South Africa was rated 133 out of 143 countries in terms of the quality of its higher education and training system, in the 2011/12 Global Competitiveness Report compiled by the World Economic forum
• The #Feesmustfall student-led protest movement began in October 2015. The protests prevented any rise in university tuition fees in 2016.
• The National Integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) Policy was introduced to ensure the universal availability of, and equitable access to, early childhood development services.
• The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) revealed that 78% of grade 4 learners in South Africa was not able to read in any language. South Africa ranked last out of 50 countries that participated in the PIRLS 2016.
• The National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS) report showed that 59% of ordinary schools did not have computer centres and 71% did not have libraries.
• The 2016/17 Global Competitiveness Report, compiled by the World Economic Forum, rated South Africa’s higher education and training at 77 out of 138 countries, a significant improvement from 2011/12.
• Government announced allocations for fully subsidised higher education and training for poor and working-class students totalling R12.4 billion.
• Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 results showed that by grade 4, 63% of learners had not acquired basic mathematical knowledge and 72% had not acquired basic science knowledge.
• The South African Early Childhood Review stated that around 1.1 million children aged three to five years did not have access to any form of early learning programme.
• There were 13 409 249 learners in ordinary public and independent schools in South Africa, attending 24 894 schools that were served by 447 123 educators.
• Government´s budget for basic education in 2022/23 was R282 billion, which constitutes 19% of the consolidated government expenditure of R2 trillion.
• The responsibility for ECD was shifted from the DSD to the DBE on 1 April 2022.
• 1 106 827 grade 1 learners enrolled in 2010, yet only 578 468 full-time candidates (52%) sat for the 2021 NSC examinations. They achieved a pass rate of 76%.
• 1 093 353 students were enrolled in public universities across the country