Sasol Learnerships at Secunda and Sasolburg
Sasol is an international integrated energy and chemical company based in Sandton, South Africa. It leverages technologies and the expertise of 31.270 people in 32 countries that work for the company. Sasol was established in 1950 in Sasolburg, South Africa and built on processes that were first developed by German chemists and engineers in the early 1900s. During the World War II, the Germans built numerous plants that provided the bulk of the fuel necessary for their military to conduct operations. Today, Sasol develops and commercialises technologies, and builds and operates world-scale facilities to produce liquid fuels, chemicals and low-carbon electricity.
Sasol is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa and the New York Stock Exchange in the United States. Major shareholders include the South African Government Employees Pension Fund, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC), Allan Gray Investment Counsel, Coronation Fund Managers, Investec Asset Management, and others. It is the largest corporate taxpayer in South Africa and remains one of the country’s largest investors in capital projects, skills development and technological research and development.
In the U.S., Sasol has operations in Houston, Texas; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Tucson, Arizona; and Oil City, Pennsylvania where they build a world-scale petrochemical complex. These sites manufacture the primary ingredients in detergents, personal care products, waxes and speciality products used as abrasives, catalysts, thickeners, ceramics and more.
Sasol’s new value chain-based operating model came into effect in 2014. Sasol Group is now organised into two upstream business units, three regional operating hubs, and four customer-facing strategic business units, supported by fit-to-purpose functions. The company focuses on creating value sustainably as they recognise the growing need for countries to secure supply of energy and chemicals.
Photo by Shane McLendon on Unsplash
The Operating Business Units in Sasol comprise the mining division and exploration and production of oil and gas activities, focused on feed-stock supply. Sasol mining operates six coal mines that supply feed-stock for Secunda (Sasol Synfuels) and Sasolburg (Sasolburg Operations) complexes in South Africa. Some of the coals supplied to Sasol Synfuels are mainly used as gasification feed-stock, while some others are used to generate electricity. On the other hand, the coal supplied to the Sasolburg Operations is used to generate electricity and steam. Coal is also exported from the Twistdraai Export Plant to international power generation customers.
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The Regional Operating Hubs in Sasol includes operations in Southern Africa, North America and Eurasia. While the Southern African Operations business cluster is responsible for Sasol’s all downstream operations and related infrastructure in Southern Africa, the International Operations business cluster is responsible for Sasol’s international operations in Eurasia and North America, including its US mega-projects in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Sasol focuses on two products – energy and chemical. As for the energy business, the cluster manages the marketing and sales of all oil, gas and electricity products in Southern Africa and oversees Sasol’s international GTL (gas to liquids) ventures in Qatar, Nigeria and Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, the chemical business is divided into two niche groupings; Base Chemicals which consists of fertilisers, polymers and solvents products, and Performance Chemicals which comprises key products including surfactants, surfactants intermediates, fatty alcohols, linear alkyl benzene (LAB), short-chain linear alpha olefins, ethylene, petrolatum, paraffin waxes, synthetic waxes, creslyc acids, high-quality carbon solutions as well as high-purity and ultra-high-purity alumina and a speciality gases sub-division.
In South Africa, the chemical businesses are integrated in the Fischer-Tropsch value chain, while outside South Africa, they are operated based on backward integration into feed-stock and/or competitive market positions.
The Group Technology in Sasol manages the company’s research and development (R&D), technology innovation and management, engineering services and capital project management portfolios. Group Technology includes the following:
Research and Technology (R&T), which focuses on developing technologies in order to improve the value propositions and performance of Sasol’s proprietary technologies
Engineering and Project Services, which is accountable for delivering specialised and standardised engineering and project services across Sasol where it sets, maintains and benchmarks standards and best practices in engineering and project management.
Capital Projects, which provides Sasol with a capital projects organisation that balances cost with effectiveness and delivers large and demanding projects centrally, whilst providing decentralised delivery for small to medium sized projects in Southern Africa and selectively for Northern America and Eurasia. This area is also responsible in co-ordinating the capital projects management execution resource pool across Sasol.
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Career Opportunities in Sasol
There is a wide range of fields in the Sasol that people can choose to work in based on their educational background and/or proficiency. Below is a list of work areas in the company.
Artisan, Senior Artisan, Specialist Artisan, Master Artisan
Technician, Technologist, Engineer
Foreman, Area Manager, Operations / Maintenance Manager
Learning Practitioner (LP), Principal LP, Learning Manager, Senior Learning Manager
Learnerships are learning programmes that require on the job learning supported by structured or institutional learning. The Sasol Learnerships’ purpose is to train and develop a person to become a qualified artisan according to the requirements of Chemical Industries Education and Training Authorities (CHIETA). Below are choices of areas of work to take in the Sasol Learnership programme.
Chemical Plant Operations (AKA Process / Production)
Instrumentation and Control
Application Requirements for the Sasol Learnership
To be accepted in the Sasol Learnership, applicants must fulfil the following requirements.
Must be a South African citizen
Provide a full N3 certificate with Mathematics, Engineering Science and Business English OR have completed a National Senior Certificate with a 40% pass in the following subjects:
Technical Mathematics or Mathematics SG / HG
English / Business English SG / HG
Technical Science, Physical Science or Engineering Science SG / HG