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Woolworths, BDS agree to meet

The court has ruled the meeting must be held on or before 10 December to settle issues around the BDS boycott.

FILE: BDS is attempting to force Woolworths to end its trade relations with Israeli-based companies in support of the people of Palestine. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Woolworths and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) group have agreed to meet next month.

The parties' representatives have agreed to meet on or before 10 December in an attempt to settle issues around BDS's "boycott Woolworths campaign".

The retailer went to court in a bid to stop the group from protesting inside its stores.

The group has turned to shareholder activism in a bid to force the retailer to end its trade relations with Israeli-based companies in support of the people of Palestine.

The organisation's Kwara Kekana says the group has agreed to tone down its protest action outside Woolworths stores but this does not mean campaigning will stop.

WOOLIES DENIES LOSING R8M A MONTH

Woolworths says claims it's losing almost R8 million a month because of a boycott campaign are wrong.

A group calling itself the National Coalition for Palestine (NC4P) on Monday released a report which arrived at the figure by gauging public support on social media for its campaign to boycott the retailer for doing business with Israeli companies.

The NC4P, ANC Youth League and the Congress of South African Students in the Western Cape released the report yesterday.

The NC4P wants to put pressure on Woolworths to stop buying products from the Jewish state.

NC4P says at least 4 million people supports its campaign to boycott Woolworths.

Chairperson for the coalition, reverend Edwin Arrison said they also conducted a survey of 4,000 people, which 92 percent of them pledged their support for the boycott.

The group said because Woolworths claims less than 1 percent of its goods are from Israel, it should be easy for the retailer to stop its business trade with the country.

"We are beginning to see the campaign grow. People have begun to say to us they support what we do and some said 'we are with you', saying they will start closing their accounts."

Woolworths management says they've not taken a financial knock and have continued to increase sales.

The retailer has questioned how the NC4P could have arrived at the claim that it's suffering monthly loses.

The NC4P report claims Woolworths has lost approximately R31 million since the start of the campaign.

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