“To have a voice we need to win”

We are amateur but compete against rivals that are semi- or indeed sometimes fully-professional. So our aim is to be ‘professionally’ run. This means we need professional level coaches, medical care, strength & conditioning and administration.

Moreover, scholarships (and often more) are standard for top prospects at all Varsity Cup member universities. Given that the cost of tuition and living are high, even for affluent parents, we would not be able to attract top-quality players without the provision of scholarships – indeed this is by far our greatest expense.

But because we aim not only to win but to provide young people with the foundation for a successful life after UCT and after rugby we also provide academic support and tutoring but most importantly an opportunity to develop values, character and friendships and experience joy at a club like no other. Every year our club has a positive influence on many young lives and changes the course of several entirely.

We are as proud of our players’ graduation rates (more than 20% higher than the average UCT student) as we are of our international and professional rugby players.

However unlike our key competitors we receive no financial support from UCT (outside of the maintenance of our fields). As the then Vice Chancellor stated in 2017 “UCT’s goal with respect to sport is firstly, and as a priority, to advance broad participation across multiple sports codes with an emphasis on recreation…. The resources that the University allocates to sport are generally limited. Where choices have to be made, we have generally not wanted to compromise broad participation in favour of high performance teams”.

While we may not agree, we do understand this and absolutely appreciate that UCT is under financial stress and has other pressing needs.  But it does mean that if we are to survive and thrive we need the support of donors.

Our sponsors, particularly FNB, are hugely valued and their support of both the Varsity Cup competition and our Club are essential. However, the reality is that the cost of a competitive Varsity Cup Campaign vastly exceeds the total sponsorship amount.

R10 million annual expenses (2023)

  • Salaries- R3,2m (coaching and medics – R2m, administration – R1,2m)
  • Scholarships financials aid – R3,5m
  • Varsity Cup hosting and participation – R900k
  • Other operating expenses – R1,5m
  • Maintenance / Capex – R100k
  • World University Cup (only every 4 years) – R1,25m

How do we fund this?

  • Sponsorship / commercial income – R2m
  • Gates / Pub / Subs – R750k
  • Donations/ ad hoc fundraising:    The rest!

Historically this has overwhelmingly come from a (very) small number of substantial donors. We acknowledge with gratitude in particular: The Invictus Scholarship Fund / The Cockwell Family, our President Neville Isdell, The Zannettin Trust and several other anonymous donors without whom we would not have prospered as we have, and indeed may not have survived.

We also have had the support of a larger number of smaller donors – what was the “200 Club” and is now the Ikey Tigers Supporters Club. The generosity of these supporters, via monthly recurring contributions is also much appreciated.

We have a number of tax efficient ways to handle donations.  For South African, donors we have established The Ikey Development Foundation Trust (a registered PBO) and for donors from offshore UCT itself has charitable status in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, all entitling donors to tax deductions or credits.

(You will be directed to the Ikey Development Foundation Trust PayFast page)

Single donation

  • EFT  / Bank Transfer
    Account Name: Ikey Development Foundation Trust
    Bank Name: First National Bank
    Account Number: 6276 837 9424
    Branch Code: 250655
    Reference: Name
  • Credit card – link to pay fast page

Regular donation

Offshore donations

If you live outside of South Africa and would like to claim tax relief for your donation, you can do so in the following countries: Canada, USA, UK, and Australia.

Bequests / legacies

Download the Codicil UCT Legacy Society Form here.