Alongside our commitment to protecting people and the environment, we believe in driving sustainable economic growth in South Africa and have identified three key focus areas where we believe we can make a significant contribution and positively impact the lives of the communities we touch. They are:
· Economic development
Encouraging growth through education
In line with the South African government’s strategy to strengthen education and skills development, we are focused on improving learning, knowledge-sharing and teaching in the critical areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths).
Together with the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME), we have established a resource centre in the Umlazi District of Kwa-Zulu Natal that makes natural sciences, physical sciences and maths resources available to teachers.
In 2018, we extended our reach to over 20,000 learners in the Durban area by providing additional funding to launch a Science2Go Mobile Resource Centre. Using mobile laboratory equipment and materials, the team aids maths and science learning at 31 schools. At the same time, they support teacher development in practical science teaching.
At 20 schools near our Cape Town refinery, we partner with the Cape Town Science Centre to stimulate an interest in science – using interactive teaching methods, fun science quests and by supplying curriculum-based practical science experiment kits. The partnership also supports Africa Code Week, where more than 500 students learn to write their first lines of computer code.
As part of our ongoing relationship with the Du Noon Community, we funded the renovation, restocking and operating expenses of the Inkwenkwezi Secondary School Library. We also paid for the construction and operating expenses for a library and computer centre at Du Noon Primary School.
Our partnership with the ORT SA STEM Academy focuses on bringing robotics technology and coding to students in disadvantaged communities, helping them to develop problem-solving skills and motivating them to choose careers in Science, Engineering and Technology.
In 2018, we entered into a partnership with the award-winning Primary Science Programme that addresses the inequalities in education in South Africa, working with over 1 300 teachers from 120 schools to benefit 100,000 learners in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape. Through teacher training, coaching and mentorship, in-classroom support, resources and materials, the programme promotes quality education in Maths, Science & Environment and Language.
Growing communities through economic development
Our efforts to help build stronger communities extend to projects that can generate employment – through creating job opportunities and supporting small-business development and income-generating projects for women and youth.
In 2016, our partnership with The Amy Foundation evolved to include an Entrepreneurial, Enterprise and Vocational Skills Development (EESD) programme, which aims to tackle youth unemployment through both soft and vocational skills development and work experience. The programme provides ongoing mentorship for its graduates, helping to set them up for careers in which they can grow and develop.
We provide funding to POPUP, a skills development initiative for unemployed youth in the communities of Salvokop and Soshanguve in Tshwane. It currently offers nine SETA accredited market-related skills programmes, as well as life skills and personal growth programmes and assists learners to create their own enterprises through a year-long business incubation programme.
Intervention with Microfinance for AIDS and Gender Equity (IMAGE), is a community-centred programme that we are proud to support. It combines micro financing with gender and HIV training that proves that by addressing poverty and economic inequalities, the physical and sexual abuse of women and their exposure to HIV and STDs can be reduced. To date IMAGE has helped more than 25,000 women in the provinces of Gauteng, North West and Limpopo to improve their circumstances economically, materially and psychologically.
Workshops Unlimited, a programme run by Cape Mental Health within the Cape Flats community, is a skills development, job creation, and job coaching project for approximately 700 persons with intellectual disabilities. Our funding enables them to complete training in the Work Skills Programme, which improves job-readiness through technical and soft skills development.
In collaboration with Primeserve HR Solutions, we launched an educational programme for black, unemployed people living with disabilities. The 12-month course provides training in business administration and marketing to create a pipeline of candidates for positions at Astron Energy and across the industry. The programme was awarded the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority’s Recognition for Support of People with Disabilities Award in 2016.