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Business Digital Services

Drivers and solution


The unemployment rate in South Africa is at an all-time high, with youth unemployment posing a major challenge. In the fourth quarter of 2022, 45.3% of youth (aged 15-34 years) were unemployed (Statistics South Africa, 2023).

Efforts to address this problem have not yielded any major breakthrough and the problem seems to be multiplying faster than solutions can be developed. In part the crisis relates to the poor capitalisation of latent potential among young people. As the global demand for new age digital skills grows at an accelerated rate across industries, South Africa MUST rapidly develop internationally competitive skills in order to get a fair share of this global demand. This is the most sustainable way of creating jobs and empowering the youth to create sustainable value.


Empower youth of Sasol fence-line communities with applied 4IR skills in order to compete globally, create scalable start-ups, build sustainable digital SMMEs that are relevant to their community, and secure employment where they can make a valuable contribution and transformative impact.

The Business Digital Services programme considers the need to focus on technical skills as well as core or soft skills required to develop a well-rounded digital entrepreneur and/or professional. Sasol’s fence-line communities can develop local digital capabilities that can compete globally while advancing the economic interests of the local community.


Intended Beneficiaries

  • 60 Beneficiaries.
  • Matriculants interested in acquiring skills in robotics/ coding/ data science/drone piloting.
  • Graduates interested in acquiring skills in robotics/ coding/ data science/ drone piloting.
  • Strong background in mathematics.
  • Strong critical thinking capabilities as well as a developed learning agility.

Opportunities for Employment or Business

Everyday more activities of human life depend on technology. These advanced technologies need to be built, integrated and managed by highly skilled individuals who understand the underlying technical aspects as well as the interface of human needs. Data generated from these modern technologies has also become a valuable commodity for business to compete and differentiate. Today some of the most highly sort-after professionals are:

  • Data Scientists: professionals who use methods and systems to extract insights from data and apply them to create value.
  • Drone pilots: professionals who programme and navigate drones across various industry use cases.
  • Artificial Intelligence engineers: professionals who develop the ability of computers to rapidly learn on their own and perform specific tasks automatically.
  • Java developers: Software developers who build systems for a variety of valuable uses.

The Business Digital Services programme seeks to assist Sasol fence-line communities with the adoption of 4IR technologies in order to create local SMMEs, global start-ups and access to employment opportunities.

The programme will support the training of beneficiaries and establishment of businesses in the following Technologies:

  • Coding
  • Robotics
  • Drone piloting
  • Data Science

The Business Digital Services programme will run in 12 months cycles and will provide the following:

  • Technical skills training in 4IR skills
  • Entrepreneurship training
  • Facilities and Equipment
  • Business and technical development
  • Funding
  • Tools and support
  • Coaching and mentoring

Skills Development Process

Business Digital Services skills development process