Sasol has launched Bridge to Work (BtW), a portfolio of initiatives aimed at improving food security and reducing unemployment in its communities across the country. This is by developing emerging farmers and improving access to economic opportunities for the youth, women, and adults out of work by providing training in critical skills such as motor mechanics, welding, technology and digital business management skills.
“As we progress our Future Sasol strategy, giving effect to a just transition is central to our decarbonisation pathways towards achieving our 2050 net zero ambitions,” said Charlotte Mokoena, Executive Vice President: Human Resources and Stakeholder Relations.
“We see the vision of Sasol’s just transition as a shared value proposition that will come to life through the inclusive transformation of our business, people and society. We recognise the socio-economic impact of this transition over time and have developed a portfolio of pilot initiatives and community resilience projects to foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”
The programmes under Sasol Bridge to Work are:
- Iphepe, which is aimed at establishing and growing the number of successful smallholder farmers, through integrated support systems;
- Community welding aimed at creating qualified welders who are equipped to meet the required skill level for new and existing projects in Mpumalanga and Free State;
- Handyman services to create jobs for unemployed youth and unskilled school handymen;
- Motor mechanics to produce certified Motor Mechanics, who will contribute to the motor industry and be positioned to enter the renewable energy powered vehicle industry;
- Business technology programme to assist youth in our communities achieve applied technology skills in order create scalable start-ups and sustainable digital SMMEs that are relevant to their community; and
- Community service programme where the unemployed will be mobilised to become active citizens of the country’s democracy, while earning an income and increasing their employability.
To implement these interventions, Sasol has partnered with the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA) in Mpumalanga, Buhle Farmers’ Academy, and the African Farmer’s Association of South Africa (AFASA). Additional partners include Afrox, Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC), Aurex, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Productivity SA, and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), and the Gert Sibande TVET College.
“Our aspiration to transition to a lower carbon future cannot be achieved at the expense of our communities, which are already experiencing high levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality. If leveraged appropriately, we believe opportunities in a low carbon future can deliver a more inclusive, sustainable and thriving South Africa,” adds Mokoena.
Explaining the rationale behind Afrox’s partnership with Sasol, Corporate Social Investment Manager, Nemenita Mohabir, said over many years, the company has invested in the training of young welders and we are dedicated to encouraging our youth to take up this profession.
“We do this by joining with like-minded organisations like Sasol and Aurex to ensure the success of students at the Boitjhorisong Welding Training Centre.”
Added Aurex Constructors CEO Stuart Kent: “Aurex Constructors are on a mission to change the challenges faced by South Africans, by answering the need for skills development, secure facilities and essentials that will make a difference to people in the communities where we work. Identifying a scarcity of welding skills in the Sasolburg area resulted in an opportunity to partner with Sasol and Afrox and create the Boitjhorisong Welding Training Centre. Aurex trainers educate delegates on theoretical and practical exercises in structural and Argon (TIG) welding.”
Sasol will be embarking on a roadshow before the end of the year, visiting communities to raise awareness of these programmes and recruit interested individuals.
For more information about Sasol Bridge to Work and the opportunities available, people can visit: https://society.sasol.com/bridge-to-work/