Sasol creates economic opportunities for its neighbours

The Sasol Envirobox Programme: Environmental Education and Training for Sustainable Development provides environmental education and training for sustainable development in response to the environmental challenges and opportunities in Sasol’s fenceline communities.

The project, started in 2017, focuses on connecting environmental awareness with economic opportunity, giving those in disadvantaged communities the chance to positively change their lives and their futures in ways that are sustainable.

“We wanted to find a way of tackling the challenges of the 21st century in a relevant way,” says Carol Paton, portfolio manager: Sasol environmental portfolio: social investment. “We wanted to move away from environmental education as it has been done to death and hasn’t delivered the right results. What we wanted was sustainable development and education that makes a difference and that goes a lot deeper than before.”

For Sasol, the environment is more than just a backdrop for socioeconomic activities, but a life-sustaining imperative that underpins the wellbeing of its fenceline communities. The programme was created as a response to the environmental challenges and opportunities faced by these people, and is focused on preventing or mitigating threats through collaboration and innovation.

“The project was started in 2017 and was endorsed by the department of basic education within the year,” says Paton. “The accompanying toolkit we developed was then certified by Radchem. Today, we are exposing people to the alternatives that exist in the environmental space and we have demonstrated this to more than 20 000 people in six months. It has had a remarkable impact.”

The core goal that underpins the success of the programme lies in its focus on economic opportunity. It ensures that the there are adequate financial and non-financial resources included in the programme along with smart technology and solutions. In addition, a school programme is on the cards with the hope that the learnings will be incorporated into the core curriculum.

“We have already had some amazing success stories,” concludes Paton. “When a former drug addict tells you that they now have a reason to stand up every day and live their lives with purpose, you know you are doing something right. There is now a huge demand for intake on the programme and we have expanded into waste management, food production and even water systems. We are so hopeful that this work will give the next generation so much more to live for.” 

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

‘I will have to repeat grade 8’

Schools have been closed again. After months of doing schoolwork at home, not all parents think their children are ready to move to the next grade

On bioclimatic architecture: ‘We have our own science, but we have forgotten how to transmit it’

This conversation between Mpho Matsipa and Mamadou Jean-Charles Tall, focusing on bio-climatic architecture in Senegal, is part of the larger African Mobilities project

How to build a women-powered, green-energy transition

As the globe moves towards greener energy practices, more women must be included in this new growth sector, for the benefit of all

Another teachers union calls for schools to be closed

Naptosa says it is irresponsible to keep schools open and that this is affecting the mental and physical health of teachers and learners

Sadtu calls for the closure of schools

Citing cases such as a school to which only four learners returned, to be met by 20 teachers, the union said Covid-19 is wreaking havoc on learning

Battle over R6bn workers’ retirement fund

Allegations from both sides tumble out in court papers

Ingonyama Trust Board moves to retrench staff

More than 50 workers at the Ingonyama Trust Board have been issued section 189 notices

No proof of Covid-19 reinfection, yet

Some people report testing positive for Covid-19 after initially having the disease and then testing negative. Scientists are still trying to understand if this means that reinfection is possible

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday