Sasol Foundation visits NWU

On 4 May 2022 a delegation from the Sasol Foundation visited the subject group Chemistry on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Mahikeng Campus.

The aim of the visit was for the new head of the foundation, Noxolo Kahlana, to meet and engage with staff and students. She was accompanied by Dr Bulelwa Keke, programme manager and Lydia Podile, administrator.

The Sasol Foundation has a long-standing relationship with the subject group, and has been providing human and infrastructure capacity support since the foundation established the Postgraduate Science Fellowship Programme in 2012.

This programme is aimed at supporting skilled honours, master’s and PhD students and researchers in chemistry and environmental chemistry to build research capacity at historically disadvantaged institutions in South Africa.

During the visit, Ms Kahlana reiterated Sasol’s commitment towards supporting the university’s research endeavors to advance society. She highlighted Sasol’s shift towards supporting sustainability research studies to develop future competencies linked to a green economy, and encouraged the university to participate in Sasol and the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy. She also urged students to seize the opportunities provided and make the best of them.

“Sasol’s support at the university is two-fold, the first being the postgraduate scholarship programme funded in partnership with the National Research Foundation (NRF). Through this programme, Sasol and the NRF support honours, master’s and doctoral candidates majoring in chemistry. The scholarship provides a full cost bursary that covers tuition, accommodation, monthly stipends and a once-off laptop allowance,” she explained.

“Master’s and doctoral fellows also receive mentorship support from Sasol subject matter experts. Working with student supervisors, Sasol mentors oversee the overall professional development of their mentees, offering advice as experienced professionals, and providing industry experience to help mentees understand the impact of their studies in society,” she added. 

Dr Keke explained that the second leg of Sasol’s support comprises the donation of research equipment to improve the training of postgraduate students in the subject group.

“Research equipment is either procured and donated through the Sasol Foundation or donated through Sasol’s Research and Technology division,” he added.

Ms Kahlana also thanked Chemistry’s staff who work under the leadership of Dr Zimbili Mkhize, the head of the subject group, and Prof Lebogang Katata-Seru, director of the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences.

She acknowledged staff for their noteworthy throughput and high-quality research output produced over the years.

Submitted on Tue, 05/10/2022 - 13:28