Bursary Guide: Gold Fields
Gold Fields’ provides financial support for students in traditional universities and universities of technology, with an emphasis on engineering and finance qualifications.
Consolidated Gold Fields was a company started by diamond mining magnate Cecil Rhodes and his friend, Charles Rudd, in 1887. The company was financed with an initial investment of £250,000, and had its first office in Doornfontein in Johannesburg. Within 10 years of its establishment – and with three mine in the Witwatersrand – Consolidated Gold Fields was rated as the most valuable company in the world.
By the end of the 1920s, the company had expanded beyond the borders of South Africa, and owned a stake in at least 25 other companies, with mining interests elsewhere on the African continents and in Australia. In 1960, the company officially changed its name to Gold Fields of South Africa to represent its local operations, and Gold Fields Australia was named as a separate entity.
In 1980, Anglo American acquired 29.9% of Gold Fields share listing on the London Stock Exchange under the leadership of Harry Oppenheimer. Shortly before the celebration of its centenary, Gold Fields bought a 78% stake in the Northam Platinum mining operation on the Western Bushveld Complex.
As the 1990s were coming to an end, Gold Fields was the second largest gold mine in the world, thanks to expanding operations, a merger with Glencor, and a 21.5% acquisition of AngloGold’s shareholding. The mining company then achieved a listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2002, and became the first gold mine in the world to be awarded an ISO14001 environmental certification.
Gold Fields completed the first stage of a BEE deal with Mvelaphanda Resources in 2004 when the empowerment group purchased a 15% stake in the mine. The deal was concluded with a further R4.1 billion transaction in 2009. Today, Gold Fields has 8 mining operations in Ghana and Peru in addition to their South African and Australian operations, with annual gold production of 2 million ounces. The company aspires to be a global leader in sustainable gold mining.
Overview of Bursary Programme
The purpose of Gold Fields’ bursary programme is to have a steady supply of qualified graduates to work at the company. While students are free to choose the institute where they would like to study, Gold Fields’ preferred universities are the University of Johannesburg; Wits; University of Pretoria; University of KZN; UCT; and North-West University, with the preferred institutes of technology being the Tshwane University of Technology; Free State Institute of Technology; Vaal University of Technology; Durban Institute of Technology; and Cape Institute of Technology.
The bursary is open to South African citizens who are 21 years of age or under at the time that they begin their first year of tertiary study, and not more than 23 years of age at the second or subsequent year levels.
Applicants open early in the year; therefore students in Matric will need to provide Grade 11 results along with the Matric results that they have at the time of application. Students who have achieved a Grade Level 6 pass in Mathematics and Physical Science can apply for the bursary.
Students planning to register, or currently registered for BSc qualifications majoring in Mining Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Metallurgical Engineering; and Chemical Engineering can apply for the bursary. Goldfields will also accept applications for BSc Geology, but only at the Honours level.
The company’s bursary scheme only covers National Diplomas or National Technical Diplomas at institutes of technology. Supported qualifications are Mining; Chemical; Mechanical; and Electrical Engineering; Extraction Metallurgy; Environmental Management and Mine Survey.
Students pursuing Finance qualifications at both universities and institutes of technology are also eligible to apply for the bursary programme.
What the bursary covers
Gold Fields’ bursary scheme pays fully towards the student’s registration and tuition fees. In addition, costs for residence fees and textbooks will be paid; however since the costs levied by each university vary, the bursary amount may not fully cover these expenses. Students will also receive an allowance to cover general living expenses. The tuition fees and allowances are paid in two installments in February and August. From their second year of study, students can apply for an allowance to purchase a computer.
The bursary is renewed every year depending on academic performance and adherence to the terms and conditions of the programme. If a student fails to comply with these requirements, they may have to refund the bursary.
Upon qualification, bursary recipients are obligated to work at Gold Fields for a period equivalent to the number of years for which they received funding.
Application process, dates and details
Applicants for the bursary programme are open between February and May each year. Interested students can contact Gold Fields to request an application form or are able to download it from the company’s website. Applicants must submit certified copies of their Grade 11 and Matric results, and also provide motivation for their choice of institution, the major for which they intend to study, and their future career aspirations. Applications must be posted or emailed to the bursary administrator before the closing date at the end of June.
Gold Fields will contact shortlisted candidates by July, and these students will be invited to a selection process comprising a panel interview as well as psychometric and medical assessments to determine their suitability for the programme. Candidates who have been accepted into the bursary scheme will be contacted in writing and are expected to sign an agreement to comply with the programme requirements.