Changing lives through education

Since 2005, the DSV Empowerment Trust (previously known as the UTi Empowerment Trust) in South Africa has helped more than 510 young DSV employees and their dependents graduate from universities and other tertiary education institutions.

The DSV Empowerment Trust provides study grants for tertiary education of black employees working at DSV in South Africa as well as their children. The trust was started by UTi co-founder Tiger Wessels in 2005, and he believes that education provides the only sustainable way out of poverty and inequality.

“We want to make a contribution to society as a whole. The intention is that students should have a full university experience, so the support needs to be comprehensive. A grant covers fees, accommodation, books and living allowance,” Wessels explains.

The students are free to choose their course of study, which over the years has included everything from logistics and accounting to engineering, film and design to music and medicine. Students are also free to work where they choose and do not need to pay DSV back.

Though DSV is able to employ many of the beneficiaries, the DSV Empowerment Trust is mainly an expression of support to empowerment and transformation in South Africa.  It’s done in accordance with Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) legislation, which is designed to redress the economic and social imbalances created by South Africa’s Apartheid past.

Woman accounted for 65% of all graduates in 2016

The DSV Empowerment Trust is making a difference. Besides the many undergraduates, the program has enabled twenty people to become medical doctors along with master’s graduates in law, media studies, social sciences, industrial psychology, management and marketing. Woman accounted for 65% of all graduates in 2016.

DSV Africa CEO and DSV Empowerment Trust Trustee, Keith Pienaar comments:

"The pass rates are high, which is ascribed to the comprehensive support structure put in place for the students. The program does not simply fund students, and then leave them to their own devices, but a full support system is in place for students, including access to a mentor on a 24/7 basis.”

Since inception in 2005, the DSV Empowerment Trust’s grant spend is just under ZAR140m, equal to around USD10.350.000.