Education was supported by 91% of companies and received 39% of CSI expenditure in 2021, down from 50% in 2020. This drop is most likely due to the pandemic-induced increase in expenditure on disaster relief and food security.

Government's budget for education in 2021/22 was R387 billion, marginally up from R385 billion in 2020/21, and constituting 19% of the consolidated government expenditure of R2 trillion.

Schoolchildren lost more than 54% of learning time from the beginning of the Covid-19 prevention measures to the end of the first half of the 2021 academic year, and according to the Wave 5 National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) an estimated 750 000 children of schoolgoing age have dropped out of school since the onset of the pandemic (see case study).

Read more about the national context of education, and an overview of how CSI funds have been allocated in this sector

Case Studies


Click on the logos below to find out more about these corporate and non-profit initiatives. 

Recommended Reading

  • South African education system ‘needs significant reform to address low literacy rates of children’

    On the current trajectory of improvement in child literacy rates, it will be 2098 before all Grade 4s in South Africa can learn to read for meaning. Read more...

  • South Africa’s matric pass rate improves slightly to 76.4% despite ‘extremely difficult circumstances’

    A total of 897,163 candidates sat for the 2021 National Senior Certificate examinations – 733,198 full-time candidates and 163,965 part-time candidates. This is an increase of 23.6% from 2020. Read more...

  • Inequality makes virtual learning a challenge

    Technology has the potential to transform the education sector, but low digital literacy and a lack of internet-enabled devices hamper online participation. The pandemic has underscored basic inequality in the education sector: while distance learning and virtual classrooms have become the norm for learners with PCs, tablets and smart phones, there is an opportunity cost for learners who are not digitally enabled.  Read more...

  • Support for Learners

    With teaching and learning no longer confined to the four walls of a classroom, virtual learning became a reality for learners across the country.  As disaster management legislation compelled radio and TV channels to increase their educational programming, this was an obvious choice to reach 13 million children in lockdown. Read more...