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Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Bursary Programme for Young South Africans

Environmental Resources Management Bursary Programme for Young South Africans

DEADLINE: 06 January 2023

Environmental Resources Management Bursary Programme for Young South Africans

ERM is seeking graduates who are interested in pursuing post-graduate studies with reputable recognised universities. We are able to offer you an incredibly vast array of opportunities simply because our scope of work is so extensive. If you are pursuing studies in the environment, earth or natural sciences, in some of the engineering fields, in economics or the social sciences, then there may be an opportunity for you to work with us! ERM Southern Africa continues to foster transformation. Our industry requires high calibre professionals from a multicultural background. We continually seek ways to nurture and develop talent.

All students with the appropriate undergraduate degree aiming to further their studies in the relevant disciplines may apply. As part of the selection criteria, students are required to choose one essay topic from the below listed options recorded by Service within ERM:

Corporate Sustainability & Climate Change

Topic 1:

  • Hundreds of companies around the globe have established “net zero” targets, including some of the largest corporations in Africa. Explain the rationale for these abatement targets; why net zero?  Speaking from an African context, why might a company choose to adopt such an ambitious reduction goal?

Topic 2:

  • Improvements in companies’ environmental, social & governance (ESG) performance is increasingly becoming an expectation from various stakeholders including shareholders, ratings agencies, regulators, customers and society at large. Discuss the perceived impact of ESG inclusion in business models when compared to traditional ones – what are the key risks and opportunities for companies in managing ESG performance?  

Liability Portfolio Management and Remediation

Topic 3:

  • Your client operates an opencast mine. At the mine there are different sources of impacts on the surrounding groundwater and surface water resources, including dewatering of the mine as well as pollution from surface infrastructure such as the tailings dam. You are asked to, as part of their water management strategy, identify areas where water management can be improved in order to strengthen their water stewardship program which aims to have a net-zero impact on the wider catchment within which they operate. Please discuss what aspects you would look at and provide suggestions on practical interventions they can implement to reduce their impact on the catchment.

Topic 4:

  • Technological advances in aspects such as computerised impact simulations, on-site water treatment, and water management practices reduces the impacts from industrial and mining operations on the environment. In an essay discuss which two new technologies you consider will play a major role in impact management during the next 10 years.

Capital Project Delivery

Topic 5:

  • The Jagersfontein mine dam collapse on 11 September 2022 shook the mining fraternity in South Africa. Doing you own research on available facts on the history of this mine as well as legislative requirements, present a factual investigation into what may have led to this disaster, how it could have been avoided, and gaps in our knowledge that need to be addressed to prevent this from happening again. Also present a short factual overview on the extent of impact on vulnerable communities and the environment resulting from this dam collapse.

Topic 6:

  • As the Covid Pandemic unfolded, renewed urgency has been placed on achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Considering that Ecosystem Services are tightly intertwined with the SDGs, discuss how the Impact Assessment Process as currently conducted in South Africa, and you as a consultant doing such Impact Assessment (you can use an imaginary project or present a general approach), can contribute to achieving the SDGs 11, 13, 14 and 15.

Topic 7:

  • Weighing up the potential wide-scale climatic and biodiversity benefits of renewable energy relative to the potential impact of renewable energy developments on local-scale biodiversity and conservation considerations in Africa.

Topic 8:

  • Improving our understanding of the environmental impact of solar PV facilities on surrounding biodiversity: Using lessons learned internationally to highlight research priorities required to translate research into an African context.

Additional Application Documents

By providing these details and entering into this programme you consent to the use of your personal data as stipulated in the ERM Data Privacy Notice ( The following PDF document attachments are required to be considered for selection:

  • Your CV
  • Certified copy of your ID
  • Your latest results transcript
  • A completed essay (with a maximum of 3, 000 words) with the Plagiarism Declaration included on the cover page (see below)

NB: Not including any of the above documents will be an automatic disqualification from the application process. You can add these documents to the Resume/CV section of the job application.

Applications and essays will be reviewed by our Service experts and candidates will be short listed based on their academic performance, essay writing skills, as well as the chosen area of study.

ERM has limited places available in our Bursary Programme.

Successful candidates will enter into a contract with ERM Southern Africa and the contract will be reviewed quarterly in line with the student’s academic performance. If successful, the applicant will be notified by ERM on their success of their application.

Please note that this bursary opportunity is open only to unemployed South African graduates who are looking to further their studies.

Click here to apply for the Environmental Resources Management Bursary Programme for Young South Africans

Click here to apply for the Environmental Resources Management Bursary Programme for Young South Africans



ALSO CHECK: DENOSA Bursaries for Young South Africans



African Union Commission Scholar || Founder @ Youth Opportunities Hub || Former RBA COST/Sahel Team at UNDP || TEF Alumni ||

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