Sasol CEO and President – Mr. Fleetwood Grobler
Chairman of Sasol Foundation – Mr. Joel Dikgole
Head of Sasol Foundation – Mr. Vusi Cwane
Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs: Charlotte Mokoena
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is indeed my singular honour and a privilege for me to be asked to deliver a keynote address at this important event namely, the Sasol Inzalo Foundation 10 Year Legacy Celebration and Book Launch.
On behalf of the people of South Africa, I congratulate Sasol Inzalo Foundation for reaching a milestone of a decade in the service of humanity.
Investing in people is not an act of charity by a commitment to our shared prosperity.
We either hunt together like hyenas and, succeed or perish together as fools.
If we hunt together, we will realise shared value and shared prosperity. We must learn to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds as it were.
Programme Director, the partnership we have with Sasol Inzalo Foundation remains remarkable and unparalleled in many respects.
It is a partnership rooted in the South African story of working together.
As Government we realised a long time ago that we had to form strong partnerships in-order to accelerate progress in educational outcomes.
Our singular goal for any partnerships in basic education is to create space for social partners and the business community to assist in realising the achievement of Delivery Outcome 1 i.e. ‘Improved Quality of Basic Education.’
Our collective task as a nation is to improve learning outcomes in gateway subjects such as Mathematics, one cohort at a time.
In efforts to improve the teaching and learning of Mathematics in the early grades, in 2019, the Framework for Teaching Mathematics with Understanding, was developed.
The purpose of the Framework is to improve teaching practices. The Framework sets out a number of practical guidelines and recommendations for teachers.
Subsequent to the pilot of the implementation of the Framework for Teaching Mathematics with Understanding in 41 schools in Grades 1-3 in three provinces – the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo; the programme will be rolled out this year.
It is now crystal clear that (STEM) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education is a magic wand of the fourth industrial revolution just like the railway was for the first, electricity for the second and automation was to the third.
Since the beginning, Sasol Inzalo Foundation has been a pioneer in the field of social investment.
From the onset you elevated the social investment portfolio from the periphery into becoming a business imperative.
Sasol Inzalo Foundation’s business philosophy is not rooted in the social investment rituals of the past where big businesses were implored to invest in the communities in which they operated.
Instead, the Sasol way, it’s an overarching business endeavour to improve the quality of life.
One of the most important leg of the Sasol Inzalo Foundation has been its investment in basic education.
You have touched many young people and changed their lives for the better.
This isn’t just about bursaries and winter schools, but an inter-generational investment in textbooks.
Foreinstance, some sixty new textbook titles were produced in 2018 alone taking these to 240 in total.
It is now accepted that the companies of the future will achieve higher growth margins by creating shared value with all stakeholders beyond the fencing communities.
Our partnership with you also addresses the imperatives of the King 111 Report on corporate governance.
Furthermore, your social investment philosophy fits effortlessly with the dictates of the National Development Plan (NDP).
The NDP states that: ‘Improved education ... will lead to higher employment and earnings, while more rapid economic growth will broaden opportunities for all and generate the resources required to improve education. (p. 26)’
Perhaps, due to the special nature of our partnerships with Sasol Inzalo Foundation – it should be considered as a model of partnerships in the basic education sector.
Sasol Inzalo Foundation is a beacon of hope and progress towards a truly improved quality of basic education.
Our partnership with Sasol Inzalo Foundation has also broken the artificial barriers between and among different role players in the basic education space – i.e. Corporate, Community, Learners and Teachers.
There is a unity of purpose here of which other corporates and communities can take a leaf out of this Sasol book.
You understood so early, many years ago that Sasol’s fortunes are intertwined with the success of its fencing communities and beyond.
What warms my heart is the fact that Sasol is proudly South African company that has grown in leap and bounds over many years.
We now know that your stellar performance in so many diverse markets it’s because of your philosophy of investing in people through education thus improving their quality of life.
Programme Director, allow me to give you a truncated 10 years, success story of this giant known as the Sasol Inzalo Foundation.
Your investment in (STEM) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education has reached over six million learners, students and teachers in just 10 years.
As I said earlier, sixty new textbook titles were produced in 2018 alone taking these to 240 in total.
An additional two new Mobile Science Labs have been launched taking these to nine in total, reaching 27 000 rural students annually.
A whopping 880 curriculum advisors have been trained over ten years.
In recent years some eight workshops have been upgraded taking the total to 19 technical school workshops upgraded to date.
To this end the Sasol Inzalo Foundation has demonstrated commitment, resilience and innovation.
To complement Sasol’s stellar performance, one of our priorities for this term is the immediate implementation of a curriculum focussing on skills and competencies for a changing world.
Research has shown that for us to thrive in today’s fast changing world, our learners require a new breadth of skills.
These skills are still rooted in academic competencies such as literacy, numeracy and science but also include such things as teamwork, critical thinking, communication, persistence, and creativity.
All these skills are, in fact, interconnected, part and parcel of the skills of a changing world, the skills of the future.
In this regard we have developed a Framework for Skills for a Changing World.
In March 2019, the development of the Coding and Robotics curriculum was finalized.
We will, together with stakeholders in basic education continue to improve the education system and develop the skills that we need now and into the future.
Programme Director, we know that reading for meaning remains a foundational skill that has to nurtured at a young age.
As we may recall the President of the Republic in his 2019 SONA made a commitment that all our learners must be able to read for meaning by their tenth birthday.
Since the President’s directive, a coordinating structure for the reading revolution, namely the National Reading Coalition which falls under the aegis of the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) has been established, and is now operational.
Together with the Department of Basic Education, the National Reading Coalition has finalised a comprehensive National Reading Plan.
The National Reading Plan is an overarching evidence based strategy that will alter the entire reading landscape in the country.
It compliments rather than replaces all existing reading initiatives including the much vaunted Read to Lead Campaign launched in recent years.
Since the Read to Lead Campaign was launched in 2015, some 7500 schools have benefited through library and appropriate book provisioning.
We are indebted to the private sector and civil society organisations for this success.
The main thrust of our comprehensive National Reading Plan is to ensure reading for meaning across curriculum, in all grades, and in all schools throughout the country.
Our plan is to ensure that we teach all our learners to read well, and most importantly to read for meaning.
As society we need to socialise all our learners and young people into becoming life-long readers.
We cannot succeed on our own as Government to get the nation reading. That is because the first real teacher of any child is the parent.
We need a collaborative approach. What is taught at home must be reinforced at school. Similarly, what is taught at school must be reinforced at home.
On our side as Basic Education Department, we have resolved to strengthen the capacity of the sector, especially teachers, through the wall-to-wall capacity building of anyone in the supply chain of reading pedagogy.
To this end, I wish that our solid partnership with Sasol Inzalo Foundation gathers momentum and fortitude in the next ten years.
We remain steadfast in our mission to improve basic education so that in our lifetime we can realise our vision of much improved learner outcomes comparable with our peers across the globe.
Let’s toast to Sasol 10 Year Legacy Celebration and Book Launch!
I thank you.