PPC workers rally around Ketso Gordhan

2014-10-12 15:00

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Employees of cement maker PPC have launched a petition campaign calling on the company’s board to reinstate Ketso Gordhan as CEO.

This comes in the wake of Gordhan all but announcing his intention to rally shareholders behind his reinstatement – and against the board – after his shock resignation three weeks ago.

A PPC manager has provided City Press with signed petitions carrying about 920 signatures – almost half the PPC workforce in South Africa.

He claims there are hundreds more.

The campaign started at PPC’s Port Elizabeth operations on September 26, four days after Gordhan’s resignation was publicly announced.

The petition says Gordhan’s absence “undermines our strategy” and has resulted in demoralisation.

“We feel it is imperative that the board of PPC approach Ketso Gordhan to retract his resignation,” read the petition.

This week PPC employees at the Jupiter cement plant in Germiston attended a talk by the chairperson of the board, Bheki Sibiya, wearing black and sporting “Bring Ketso back” placards as well as photos of the former CEO.

Sibiya, who became executive chair after Gordhan’s departure, has been on a tour to visit all PPC’s sites and speak to employees.

When contacted by City Press, Gordhan swore that he had nothing to do with the petition, adding that he was “very grateful for the support”.

Gordhan resigned after the board refused to let him fire a senior manager who he felt was obstructive to his strategy. However, he hastily retracted the resignation two days later, but the board refused to bring him back and instead announced his departure a day later.

PPC’s share price fell from R32.50 to about R30, but has continued to slide since then.

On Friday, the share price was R28.47.

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