Department of Environmental Affairs offers bursaries and internship programmes to young South Africans

19 October 2017


In its contribution to endeavours aimed at addressing skills shortage, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) offers bursary funding to academically deserving and previously disadvantaged young South Africans to pursue fulltime studies in various fields related to environmental sector.

The bursaries are awarded to fulltime students who are enrolled with institutions of higher learning in South Africa, to the maximum value of R40 000.00 per annum for each recipient. The initiative that began in 2010, has enabled more than 100 young South Africans to fulfil their dreams as they explore different careers of their choice.

In addition, the Department also offers exposure to real work experience to qualified yet inexperienced graduates through an internship programme, aimed at bridging the gap between academic study and competent performance in the workplace. The participants are placed in various divisions within the Department, where they receive practical and relevant work experience.

Research suggests that a graduate with 12 months working experience has more than 80% chance of getting full time employment in South Africa. It is in this regard that, upon completion of qualifications funded through the DEA, the bursary recipients are offered a maximum of two year (24 months) practical training through an internship programme.

The Department’s Head of Communications and Spokesperson, Mr Albi Modise, says the bursary and internship programmes are part of the government’s concerted efforts to eradicate poverty, inequality and unemployment, while empowering young people to become innovative, insightful and credible future leaders.

The National Development Plan reminds us that education empowers people to define their identity, take control of their lives, raise healthy families, and take part confidently in developing a just society.

“Our bursary and internship programmes are part of our department’s contribution towards the building of a just society that lives in harmony with its environment. While we enable young South Africans to access tertiary education, we also enable them to actively participate in the work environment through our internship programme. So we get them educated, and also provide a platform to acquire the much needed work experience, which would undoubtedly advance their future prospects,” said Modise.

The quarterly employment statistics (QES) report released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) in September 2017 reveals that over 54% of the 10 million South Africans aged between 15 and 24 years old are unemployed. “All of these are young people who require assistance not only from the government, but also from corporates, to unleash their potential to the fullest,” said Mr Modise.

Mr Modise says the benefits of the bursary and internship programmes are not only about employment prospects, but also to produce qualified environmental ambassadors who will become custodians of sustainable use of the country’s natural resources, by ensuring consistent environmental protection for the benefit of present and future generations.

Full details of the bursaries for fulltime undergraduate studies may be accessed on the link:

Unemployed graduates and those who will complete their qualifications in the 2017 academic year are encouraged to be on the lookout for the internship programme advertisement. The adverts will be in the national newspapers and the Department’s website: between November and December 2017.

Mr Modise has urged all young South Africans who meet the requirements to submit comprehensive applications bursary funding before the closing date of 27 October 2017, and the internship opportunities on a date to be communicated.

For media queries, contact

Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2870