Education: Overview of CSI Spend

 Education was supported by 95% of companies and received an average of half of CSI expenditure in 2020.


  • Consistent with previous years, school-level education (general education plus further education and training) received the largest share of education spend (51%).
  • Tertiary education received one-third (33%) of education spend, up from 28% in 2019 and recovering to more than the 31% allocated in 2017 before government implemented free tertiary education to students from poorer households. • The average proportion of education spend directed to adult education remained low at only 2%.


  • The largest portion of CSI education spend was on bursaries, scholarships and university chairs (26%), followed closely by learner development (24%), in line with previous years.
  • Average education spend allocated to ICT infrastructure (7%) almost doubled compared to 2019.


  • Corporates funding bursaries were again asked about the likelihood of changing their programmes given the increase in public funding for tertiary education through the NSFAS. Contrary to some expectations, corporates are now even more likely to continue funding bursaries than before with over three-quarters (77%) saying they would not change their programmes (compared to 62% in 2019).
  • Furthermore, fewer corporates said they had shifted to other focus areas: 15% in 2020 compared to 18% in 2019.


  • Maths and science were again the most supported subjects with companies directing an average of 32% of their education spend to these subjects.

Source details: Trialogue Business in Society Handbook 2020