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Conditions of the Siyakhula Scholarship:


The successful incumbent will be required to:


• Register for full-time study in the relevant department ie the Michaelis School of Fine Art

• All candidates applying for postgraduate Siyakhula Scholarships are required to apply for additional funding through the UCT Postgraduate Funding Office. Please see

Given that the support we are able to offer is limited, it is recommended that all applicants pursue other avenues of support, such as NRF funding and the National Arts Council.

• Submit a mid-year satisfactory progress report from the candidate’s academic supervisor as well as a revised budget showing any additional funding the candidate was awarded from UCT and non-UCT sources

• Comply with the University’s approved policies, procedures and practices for the postgraduate sector


Although successful candidates will be permitted to take up part-time employment (maximum 15 hours per week), they may not hold scholarships and salaried/full-time employment concurrently.


No services will be required from successful candidates in return for the award. However, recipients of the award will be approached and requested to donate a work to future Siyakhula auctions.

Value of the scholarship:

The value of the scholarship will be determined by the committee on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the applicant’s circumstances and submitted budget (see Application Requirements).

As per UCT’s guidelines, the combined scholarships and funding held by the candidate during the year that they have been awarded Siyakhula funding may not exceed R 172 000 pa for Honours funding and R 230 000 pa for Master’s funding. In cases where the candidate gets awarded funds above this limit during their tenure as Siyakhula Scholarship holder, the Siyakhula committee will not pay out the second tranche of funds after the mid-year.



Honours degree: for the duration of an Honours degree (1 year)

Master’s degree: for the first year of Master’s degree, renewable for another year at the discretion of the Siyakhula Scholarship committee, subject to evidence of satisfactory academic progress in the first year of registration and availability of funds.


Funding will only be paid upon registration. The funding will be paid into the successful candidate’s fee account in the form of a student scholarship. After payment of fees, any credit will be paid into the candidate’s bank account in two instalments: the first instalment as soon as possible after the fees have been paid, the second instalment at the beginning of the 2nd semester and after submission of a satisfactory progress report from the candidate’s academic supervisor and submission of a revised budget showing any additional funding the candidate might have subsequently been awarded by UCT and non-UCT sources. As noted, payment of the second tranche is subject to the combined funding being less than R 172 000 pa for Honours funding, R 230 000 pa for Master’s funding.


The Siyakhula Selection Committee has the right to withhold or withdraw funding should the applicant not fully declare their income and financial circumstances.


Candidates must be registered or accepted for study at the Michaelis School of Fine Art.

Candidates for the scholarship should be from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, have proven record of good academic achievement, and be in financial need. Siyakhula scholarships were set up to support black South African students, given the historical disadvantages and the continued socio-economic impact that this has had in terms of access, particularly to tertiary education. Applicants from bordering regions on the continent will however be considered, on a case by case basis, depending on the availability of funds.


Application Requirements:

Potential applicants must apply for the scholarship in writing. Written submissions must be supported by the following documentation:

  • A one page letter of application or motivation including an outline of the applicant’s financial circumstances

  • A fully completed application form

  • A detailed budget outlining funds needed, listing fees, material and production expenses and living costs

  • A short biography of no more than 500 words

  • A current curriculum vitae not exceeding 4 pages

  • Academic transcripts – Non-UCT students will need to submit certified copies of the originals. UCT graduates can request the PGC&FO to source these from the system.

  • Two letters of reference, at least one of which must be by an academic who has taught the candidate. The letters of reference must be submitted by referees directly to the Siyakhula Scholarship committee at the email The Siyakhula Scholarship committee reserves the right to contact referees for further information. The Siyakhula Scholarship committee will not source referee reports on behalf of the applicant. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the referee reports are sent directly to the committee at

  • Please provide proof of registration or acceptance for study: a document from UCTs Department of Fine Art indicating that the applicant has been accepted, is likely to be accepted, or has been provisionally accepted for full-time study in 2021.

Selection Process:


Only eligible and complete applications will be considered by the Siyakhula Scholarship committee.


It is important to note that applications submitted without the required supporting documents as specified above will not be considered.



BY NO LATER THAN 22 February 2021

Please use the following reference when emailing your electronic application: “Siyakhula Application”



The Siyakhula Selection Committee has the right to withhold or withdraw funding should the applicant not fully declare their income and financial circumstances.

The University of Cape Town and the Free Education Planning Group reserve the right to cancel incomplete and/or late applications, to effect changes to the conditions of the Fellowships or to make no awards at all.

Recipients of the 2020 Siyakhula Scholarship:


Kamil Hassim (MFA 1st year)

Sam Fortuin (MFA 1st year)

Jade Nair (Honours in Curatorship)

Thabang Kaanyane (Honours in Curatorship)

Xola Mwande (Honours in Curatorship)

Leo Makgekgenene (MFA 2nd year)

Elsie Chiwa (MFA 2nd year)

Kim Makin (MFA 2nd year)

Ashraya Naidoo (3rd year BAFA)

Lorraine Kalassa (3rd year BAFA)


Siyakhula Committee:


Berni Searle (Founder and Chair)

Kurt Campbell (Head of Department)

Fritha Langerman (Michaelis staff member)

George Mahashe (Michaelis staff member)

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