Sasol turns a deaf ear to the voice of striking workers

“Sasol maintains in no uncertain terms that its division of the workforce on the basis of race is acceptable and constitutes justified discrimination. The striking workers’ clear request for inclusivity is simply being swept off the table,”

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The Bulletin News

Solidarity and Sasol on Wednesday, 3 October, left a meeting at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) without achieving any success after the second round of conciliation held at the CCMA did not yield a solution for the ongoing dispute. Solidarity members at Sasol have been on a go-slow since the beginning of September because of Sasol’s employee ownership plan, Khanyisa, which excludes white workers from its Phase 2.
According to Solidarity Deputy General Secretary, Deon Reyneke, Sasol refuses to whatsoever concede to the striking workers’ requests. “Sasol maintains in no uncertain terms that its division of the workforce on the basis of race is acceptable and constitutes justified discrimination. The striking workers’ clear request for inclusivity is simply being swept off the table,” Reyneke explained.
Solidarity will now intensify the strike and the creation of awareness about this important issue by declaring a national day of protest by its members and by organising a protest march to the Sasol Head Office in Sandton. Full details of the protest march will soon be announced.
Sasol wrote the following on their website regarding the mediation process with Solidarity.
Today, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) brought its mediation between Sasol and Solidarity, in relation to a dispute on Sasol Khanyisa, to a close. While the mediation did not lead to a resolution of Solidarity’s dispute, it did provide both parties with a constructive platform to share each other’s views and engage on the issues.
At the mediation, the team representing Sasol reaffirmed our position that transformation is, and will remain, a social, moral and business imperative for Sasol. Sasol Khanyisa represents a significant step Sasol is taking to bring about a more inclusive economy by affording an opportunity specifically to previously disadvantaged groups, as defined by the Department of Trade and Industry’s B-BBEE codes.
With regard to industry charters applicable to Sasol, the Mining Charter applies to Sasol Mining, while the Liquid Fuels Charter applies to Sasol’s liquid fuels Energy Business. Each of these Sasol businesses complies with the applicable Charters. Sasol’s Secunda and Sasolburg Operations, as well as the Chemical Business and gas operations, are housed in Sasol South Africa Limited. The Sasol Khanyisa transaction is also housed in Sasol South Africa Limited. There is no correlation between Sasol Khanyisa and the Mining Charter. The B-BBEE laws which govern the Sasol Khanyisa transaction take precedence over the Mining Charter.
Sasol is under no legal or other obligation to amend the Employee Share Ownership Plan structure of Sasol Khanyisa as the company is fully compliant with the applicable charters and B-BBEE laws. Further, the 2018 Mining Charter’s requirement regarding qualifying employees applies only to new, future mining rights applications. Should Sasol Mining apply for new mining licences in the future, we will take the appropriate steps to comply with the Mining Charter in that regard.
We participated in the CCMA’s mediation process and expressed sincere interest in finding an appropriate resolution. However, if Solidarity is, after the CCMA mediation, still of the view that Sasol Khanyisa is not in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, they would need to take their argument to the appropriate court for adjudication. Should this course of action be pursued, Sasol supports and encourages this on behalf of our employees that are represented by Solidarity. If the current B-BBEE laws are modified then we will most certainly comply with any changes in these laws.

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