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WATCH: Solidarity takes to the streets over Sasol's new empowerment scheme

06 September, 05:07 PM

Trade union Solidarity has embarked on a strike over Sasol's Khanyisa employee share scheme.

The scheme is divided into two phases, the first is open to all Sasol employees and the second is exclusively for black employees.

"Our intention is to create meaningful financial benefits for approximately 230 000 black public shareholders and qualifying employees, to achieve 25% direct and indirect black ownership of Sasol," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We are aware of negative reports and sentiment expressed from various quarters of society against Sasol Khanyisa. These reports are largely premised on a misunderstanding of elements of the transaction pertaining to employee participation," it concluded.

Speaking to News24 from the protest outside Sasol's Secunda plant, Solidarity's deputy secretary general for energy, aviation and aerospace Deon Reyneke said that 25% black ownership of Sasol was achievable without excluding white workers.

"Maximum black economic empowerment points can be achieved without excluding white workers, who are a small minority at the company. The mining industry is proof that this can be done, and their schemes did not exclude white workers," Reyneke told News24.

Solidarity's chief executive Dirk Herman called out the new scheme on its perceived racial bias through a press statement on Wednesday.

"Our goal is to delay Sasol's maintenance project (shutdown) that has been scheduled for a three-week period. Every hour we slow down the project costs Sasol millions of rands," Herman said.

There have been calls for a complete Sasol boycott and a video of the strike posted by controversial businessman Johan Frederik Lee has gone viral with nearly 100 000 views on Facebook.

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