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Racial exclusion from Sasol share plan means strike is possible

Sasol introduced benefits that said it would exclude workers based on race.

South African government mediators ruled that workers at Sasol, the world’s biggest producer of motor fuel from coal, are allowed to strike over the exclusion of white staff from a employee-shareholding plan.

Solidarity, a labour union that represents skilled, mainly white workers, registered a dispute with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, or CCMA, after Sasol introduced benefits that it said would exclude workers based on race. South African businesses have implemented plans since democratic elections in 1994 that aim to redress economic inequalities stemming from white-minority rule under apartheid.

“The commissioner ruled in our favour saying that this is a strikeable dispute,” Deon Reyneke, the deputy general secretary at Solidarity, said by phone. The matter was referred back to the CCMA for conciliation before a certificate allowing permission to hold a strike is awarded, he said.

Sasol has struggled to improve its empowerment structure since the outgoing plan, known as Inzalo, failed to pay out to more than 250 000 black South Africans who participated in the transaction after the stock was battered by a slump in crude prices. Sasol tumbled last year after the company proposed to sell about R13 billion ($1 billion) of shares to cover the debt owed by investors.

“We remain confident that we have designed the Khanyisa transaction to incorporate what we consider to be the most appropriate and best features of broad-based black economic empowerment structures,” Johannesburg-based Sasol said in an emailed response to questions. The plan “is aimed at specifically advancing the transformation of the South African economy and Sasol,” it said.

Inzalo included all employees, while the incoming plan, known as Khanyisa, will discriminate against white workers by not recognising them, according to Solidarity. Inzalo means yield in Zulu, while Khanyisa means to illuminate.

© 2018 Bloomberg

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Opens a can of worms this one – many BEE schemes at corporates including VC, MTN, Multichoice, Imperial etc…

Sasol, seems to have screwed up (can I say that?) when it allowed non-blacks to participate in Inzalo to begin with, in direct violation of the BEE Clauses. Now these same beneficiaries of the race patronage system of Apartheid, now want to claim that they too are entitled to benefit from the BEE program presumably because, ‘they were previously disadvantaged’, and yet no one can tell what they were disadvantaged from and or who was oppressing them and depriving them of economic opportunities. There people just like the Gupta’s don’t qualify. They are not within the definition of the law that covers this subject matter. Solidarities motifs are dubious. Sasol should perhaps educate its qualified staff participate individually that would exclude these greedy non-qualifying chancers!

Rather say thank you apartheid and sanctions for giving us Sasol. O forgot it was the brainchild of the ANC. Time to acknowledge ALL in this country, not just the “wanna haves”, only then then we can start working together for a better future for all.

“They are not within the definition of the law that covers this subject matter”…is racist laws in any book except in the ANC’s Power book.

“Reason is always weak where prejudice is strong”
~Norm Macdonald

I really dont want to get in a debate on the merits of BEE, I would just like to know on what do you base the statement: “, now want to claim that they too are entitled to benefit from the BEE program presumably because, ‘they were previously disadvantaged’”.

I agree that ‘reason is weak in the face of prejudice’. You folks have benefitted from apartheid and I am sure none have apologized. Now a program is set up to ‘try and help’ some, and by any stretch of the imagination not all of those people who for 500 years were kept under yoke. Now, guess who wants to benefit, some white folks, who want to even paint themselves black, if they can help it! IF you want reasoning, go read the Act on this area, and go down it criteria by criteria, and you will see that with these whites trying to claim a benefit they are not entitled to you might have a legal case to lodge. In fact, I am surprised that Sasol got away with violation under the previous scheme. White people are benefiticaries of Apartheid, that is a historical fact. They are expressly do not fall under ‘black’ economic empowerment, in part because they were empowered for 400 years at the exclusiong of all others. There you have it.

Shocking, but not surprising, that racial discrimination is still alive and well in 21st century South Africa. When the government and major opposition parties are permitted to set policies and make inflammatory statements along racist lines, it’s only natural that large corporates will follow suit.

The only thing being illuminated here is the fact that SOE and their kin are still as racist as they were under apartheid. Wake up brothers – if you don’t play fair we all lose.

I would love to see an NPV calculation with and without these BEE transactions so that the value add/destruction is quantified in simple $ terms.

Cyril Ramaphosa years ago himself admitted that BEE should not continue indefinitely as it breeds a group of people relying on entitlement to get jobs.They do not strive to better themselves or deliver productively in their respective job roles as they feel they are entitled to be there. He said that BEE should not continue more than 20years. We are in year 24+ since 1994. Its time to scrap all this BEE and allow people to be employed based on qualifications. Problem solved.

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