There are about 550 000 South Africans who are visually impaired.
Given the necessary adaptive skills, these individuals can function independently in society, but many communities have few facilities to help them.
Sasol and the South African National Council for the Blind are engaged in a joint project to assist the visually impaired.
Their first project has been implemented in the area around Kimberley in the Northern Cape.
The province has many small rural communities that are often poor with a high level of illiteracy and unemployment. A community worker from the council identified the need for rehabilitation centres in the Kimberley area.
The project focuses on three communities in the area — Plaatfontein, Groenwater and Jan Kempsdorp.
In the first year of its involvement in the project Sasol financed about 50 blind and partially sighted people. It has since expanded its financial assistance.
The project’s success means that in the years to come it could be expanded to include additional training in Braille, basic adult education and training and income-generating skills training.
Sasol has provided visually impaired people with a vision of the future and provides employment and income-generating opportunities in the area.