TUT receives R1 million donation to advance training in polymer technology

by Gerrit Bester

19 August 2022

The Polymer Technology programme offered by the Tshwane University of Technology’s Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) received a substantial boost following a donation of R1 million by leading polymer producer and marketer, Safripol (Pty) Ltd. The donation solicited through the Advancement and Partnerships Office (APO) was formalised on 15 August.

Pictured at a cheque presentation to formalise the Safripol donation on 15 August are Prof Ben van Wyk, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching, Learning and Technology; Dr Grace Kanakana, Executive Dean: Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment; and Mr Gert Claasen, Technology and Innovation Executive of Safripol (Pty) Ltd.

Safripol has a longstanding relationship with the University and is represented on the Advisory Committee of the TUT Polymer Technology programme, chaired by Mr Gert Claasen, Technology and Innovation Executive of Safripol.

Thanking Safripol for the generous donation, Dr Grace Kanakana, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, said: “The Faculty sincerely appreciates the donation by Safripol. The donated funds will be used to procure equipment for the Polymer laboratory. This laboratory will be used by undergraduate students enrolled for the Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Materials Engineering in Polymer Technology with the focus on thermal analysis, which enables the students to categorise the performance of polymer materials during application. This analysis is important because it allows students to learn which material is appropriate for a specific function and how it can be used responsibly,” she added. 

Asked why Safripol specifically decided to donate money to the University’s Polymer Technology programme and about the value of industry/higher education partnerships, Claasen said: “Safripol is a South African company committed to developing the next generation of polymer experts for the country, and there is no better place to start at than an institution like the TUT and supporting its Polymer curriculum focusing on polymers. With Safripol's pledge to Let's Plastic Responsibly, it is critical to ensure that the polymer industry is fully sustainable, and that the next generation will ensure this — thus the donation.”

Safripol is a leading polymer producer and marketer, serving valued customers and markets in South Africa, Africa and beyond. A proud member of KAP, a Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed company, it has grown to become the second largest polymer producer in Sub-Saharan Africa, with customers in every sector of industry and business.

Its world touches everything, from medical equipment and food packaging to industrial piping and energy products, to sports and recreational equipment, to carpets, denim jeans and children’s toys. The products its polymers go into seriously uplift people’s lives. 

Safripol consists of a commercial head office in Bryanston as well as key operations in Durban and Sasolburg.

Explaining the importance of partnerships, such as the one with Safripol, to advance teaching and learning at TUT, Dr Eric Pule, Director of TUT’s Advancement and Partnerships Office (APO), said: “Such financial support for equipment and training from the corporate donor will enhance the development of future-ready graduates, ensure their success both in as well as out of class, and bolster their overall academic experience at TUT.”

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Phaphama Tshisikhawe, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 4711  Email: tshisikhawerpt@tut.ac.za