North-West University and Sasol Foundation signs donation agreement

The North-West University’s (NWU’s) campus in Mahikeng and the Sasol Foundation signed a donation agreement on 31 July 2018, following the donation of research equipment to the value of R2 605 368 to the subject group Chemistry in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

The Sasol Foundation launched a Science Fellowship Programme in 2012 with the purpose of increasing the pool of graduates with honours, master’s and PhD degrees in chemistry and environmental chemistry at various universities, including the NWU’s campus in Mahikeng. In 2014 the foundation partnered with the National Research Foundation (NRF) to co-fund the programme.

“We hope this relationship will grow from strength to strength,” said Dr Rufus Wesi, acting director of the Sasol Foundation. “I can also confirm that more equipment will be coming your way from the Sasol Foundation,” he added.

Prof Marilyn Setlalentoa, the deputy vice-chancellor for community engagement and operations on the campus in Mahikeng, thanked the Sasol Foundation for the donation.

“We are very thankful as a university for donations of this nature, as they assist us to raise the bar in terms of teaching, learning and research,” said Prof Setlalentoa.

Dr Zimbili Mkhize, head of the subject group, said the subject group Chemistry has managed to successfully deliver a number of postgraduate students in various research fields over the past years. “These include four PhDs, six master’s and 24 honours students, all sponsored by the Sasol Foundation. This year the Sasol Foundation is sponsoring eight honours, 10 master’s and four PhD students,” he added.

“The subject group Chemistry is grateful for the partnership with the Sasol Foundation and look forward to a continuation of this relationship,” said Prof David Modise, the deputy dean for research and innovation in the faculty.

The donated equipment includes an HPLC with PDA, a TLC scanner, a vacuum oven with pump, stirring heating mantles and centrifuge, a temperature probe, a Milestone Neos System, a furnace muffle w/door LT and a force tensiometer.