Sasol offers one of South Africa’s most highly sought after and competitive all-inclusive bursary programs for full-time university students.
Throughout the decade and into the 1930s, a number of scientists and engineers, such as P.N. Lategan of the Transvaal Coal Owners Association, and Etienne Rousseau of the University of Stellenbosch, developed many new fuel production procedures, including the Fischer-Tropsch process (now used all over the world). Rousseau in particular went on to become Sasol’s first managing director.
In 1950, the corporation that would become Sasol was officially incorporated as a state-owned company, and was given the name of the South African Coal, Oil and Gas Corporation. The Sasol 1 site, which was tasked mainly with the production of synthetic fuels, began to be constructed in 1954, and was shortly followed by sites 2 and 3 in the following years.
Since that time, Sasol has expanded its operations to include the production of many different types of fuel as well as other chemicals byproducts. It is currently one of the world’s leading producers of these products, and one of the largest companies to operate within South Africa.
Sasol Bursary Program Overview
By doing so, the company hopes to create and maintain a skilled workforce that can contribute to the South African economy in a meaningful and positive way. This ethos is in keeping with one of the South African government’s twelve key performance outcomes, which is centered on the creation of a workforce capable of driving sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
Upon successful completion of their studies, recipients of Sasol bursaries have the opportunity to be employed by one of Sasol’s operational divisions for a period equal to the term of the bursary as part of the graduate development program. This provides these graduates with the opportunity to gain further experience and training in their relevant fields, while also giving them the chance to contribute to Sasol’s workforce in return for their bursary. As many recipients of these bursaries go on to work for Sasol full time, the bursary program offers lasting opportunities beyond those of tertiary education, which accounts for its popularity among undergraduate students.
In addition to tertiary education, Sasol also makes provision for students who wish to become qualified artisans, offering a 36-month learnership program that provides theoretical and practical training in a variety of artisanal fields that can equip them to work in various capacities for Sasol, or provide the necessary skills to seek employment elsewhere.
As of 2015, the Sasol bursary program had over six hundred recipients actively studying at various tertiary institutions throughout the country, all funded in whole or in part by Sasol bursaries. With thousands of applicants each year, places on the program are in high demand, and successful candidates are expected to excel in their chosen fields of study.
Sasol bursaries are some of the most comprehensive in the country, and provide many benefits that assist with tertiary education on a number of levels. First and foremost, these bursaries cover up to 100% of prescribed university tuition fees, registration fees, and exam fees. Accommodation is also covered at an amount equal to the average rate of a single room in a residency or hostel at the university where the student will be enrolled.
This amount is calculated by Sasol in consultation with the university in question. A further amount is provided for three meals a day as provided by the university. Finally, a stipend of around R10 000 per annum is paid to account for necessary books, stationery, equipment, and other day-to-day expenses. All told, these benefits constitute one of the most valuable bursaries offered in South Africa. Bursary recipients will, however, be liable to cover the cost of any repeat subjects, and will not receive extra money for allowances such as more expensive accommodation or meals than those provided by the university at an average rate.
Sasol bursaries are offered for a variety of different qualifications that are relevant to Sasol’s business operations. Within the fields of science and engineering, these include bachelor’s degrees in chemical, mechanical, civil, and electrical, and industrial engineering, as well as qualifications in electronics, mining, computer science, and mechatronics.
Bachelor of Science degrees in the fields of chemistry, geology, and metallurgy are also covered by Sasol bursaries, as are Bachelor of Commerce (accounting) qualifications. While bursaries are awarded for all of these qualifications in most years, this may not always be the case.
The application process for Sasol bursaries is done mainly online, and is fairly straightforward. Prospective applications must register an account on the Sasol bursaries website, after which they will be able to select undergraduate, postgraduate, or university of technology options.
For each of these levels of study, different prerequisites, such as valid matric certificates/existing university transcripts and minimum grade levels apply to ensure that candidates show sufficient promise to be able to cope with and excel at their tertiary studies.
A comprehensive list of information must then be supplied regarding each candidate’s personal and educational background. Various supporting documents, such as certified copies of ID documents and relevant certificates, may also need to be uploaded. Once complete, the forms can be electronically signed and submitted for the internal review process. A reference number should be kept in case of any enquiries.