The Hamilton Mvelase Bursary Fund

“I learned that love, truth, justice mercy and peace can change someone’s life as a whole.” Hamilton Mvelase

Photo taken by Dr P Murray the day before Hamilton died.


Bishops is an extraordinary school with excellent staff and resources. It is our hope that here, every boy finds something that inspires them for we believe that inspiration is the catalyst to success. As an institution of excellence, Bishops plays a pivotal part in the future of South Africa and thus has a duty to shape the future leaders of this country.

In order to make an impact, we need your help.

In a country afflicted by hardship, education is the solution to a number of South Africa’s problems. For socio-economically disadvantaged groups, access to good education is challenging. It for this reason, that we are launching the Hamilton Mvelase Bursary Fund.

Hamilton was a previous beneficiary of a Bishops Bursary’s and his story is a tragic one.

Those who knew him described him as a hard worker and a natural leader. He was popular with his peers and a great sportsman.

Tragedy struck in 1991 when Hamilton and a friend made an impromptu decision to take a day pass home to Guguletu one weekend. They caught a bus and were walking across a field when they were attacked. Hamilton escaped but his friend was stabbed in the leg. On seeing that his friend was in trouble, Hamilton returned to assist and managed to save his friend but was fatally stabbed in the process. Hamilton’s dreams were never to be realized.

It is our hope that in celebrating this inspirational young man, it will create a platform for giving so that other deserving boys from disadvantaged communities will benefit from the opportunities that Hamilton was so tragically denied and that those who benefit will be inspired by his legacy.


How to get involved?

Extra Term

In 2016 we piloted “The Extra Term Initiative” with the objective of a family or friend of Bishops annually paying an extra term’s school fees for a boy from a less privileged background.

The initiative sees each family’s commitment to paying the “Extra Term” for the duration of a boy’s College career at Bishops. This allows four families to provide a disadvantaged child with an opportunity to attend Bishops – one he would otherwise not be able to afford.

Thanks to the generosity of several parents and ODs to date, this initiative has enabled us to enrol nine boys at bishops. We are hopeful that, with the assistance of parents, ODs and corporates, we will be able to finance bursaries for an additional ten boys annually. This tax deductible gift will provide a life changing opportunity for a boy; a boy who will be raised with the Bishops ethos of “Inspiring Individuals”.

The Bishops Trust is a registered PBO and we are authorized to provide Section 18A tax exemption certificates for these payments.

If you’re a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid increases the value of your charity donations by 25%, because the charity can reclaim the basic rate of tax on your gift – at no extra cost to you.

As a bursary is a very personal gift, we will also offer you mentorship opportunities with the beneficiary. This will be optional and a meeting will be held at the school to discuss and establish guidelines.

Details Tuition Only Boarding Only Tuition and Boarding
Annual Fees for 2018 R 137 260 R 103 120 R 240 380
Termly amount (1/4) R 34 315 R 25 780 R 60 095
Sponsor commitment for 2018 i.e your commitment R 34 315 R 25 780 R 60 095

2018 fees – annual increase between 8% and 12%.

The General Bursary Fund

The Extra Term initiative is a bursary/mentorship programme that will not suit all donors. If you do not wish to participate in the Extra Term Programme, please consider making a contribution to the General Bursary Fund. Any donation, no matter the size, will make a huge difference to the future of Bishops. Payments can be made as:

  • A once off tax deductible donation towards the General Bursary Fund.
  • Regular Giving (Monthly, quarterly or annual donations)
  • Lump sum payment/s over a number of years which allow for named bursaries in perpetuity. (An investment of R6.6 million would cover a boy’s fees at Bishops in perpetuity)

Funds are invested through our investment committee and an annual draw down of 4% ensures that boys benefit annually and funds continue to grow. We hope that this will ultimately result in a self-sustainable bursary programme for many boys.

A Poem by Hamilton Mvelase

It is sunrise, people wake up

Before eating breakfast which is

Leftovers from the previous day.

Someone goes out for a bath

In the cold, freezing open-air bathroom.

A woman makes tea, and yawns

When she feels the watermarks

of night receding from her eyes.

The dew is drying and the light brightens. Her eyes pass through

The steamy rumble roads.

She enjoys sitting on the splayed building

And the slum street of her township.

She takes a cup of coffee which

She sips, and strokes the drowsy cat

That tucks its paws. The time is hers.

Published in ‘Mitre’ – 1990