Our Story

Our Story



Compassion and Care

The JB Marks Education Trust Fund was set up by the NUM in 1997 to empower members and their dependents, particularly graduates entering the mining and related sectors. We are named after John Beaver Marks, a leading figure in the mineworkers’ struggle against exploitation. He was a vocal advocate of education as an empowerment tool and a vital weapon in the fight against poverty.


In our first year we could only help 53 beneficiaries. Our work has massively expanded since then and an important milestone was reached in 2017 when we became a 100% self-administered fund.

The JB Marks Alumni

Those who go through our bursary programme – our alumni – have much in common. They typically come from disadvantaged backgrounds. They embrace the JB Marks mission and strive to help a new wave of students achieve their goals.

The first support group, the Core Team, was launched in 2008. These graduates and some students who were making a success of the programme were all volunteers. They established a tradition of self-help that today distinguishes the work of the JB Marks Alumni.

The Alumni plough back into the trust, contribute to our community outreach efforts and launch similar initiatives of their own. Alumni projects include:

  • Alumni high school career days
  • Adopt-a-school and donate a mobile science cabinet
  • Mandela Day charity drive
  • Car wash/book drive fundraising
  • The Network symposium
  • Fundraising gala dinner