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SA's Solidarity union to strike at Sasol over black staff scheme

The bone of contention is Sasol's newly-announced empowerment scheme, known as Khanyisa, in terms of which its black employees will get shares worth R500,000.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s mainly white Solidarity union has given Sasol a 48-hour notice to strike over the energy giant’s plan to launch a share ownership scheme exclusively for back staff, the union said on Tuesday.

“This type of crude racial exclusion cannot be tolerated any longer. These white workers are also valuable,” Solidarity Chief Executive Dirk Hermann said in a statement.

Under black economic empowerment rules, South African companies are required to meet quotas on black ownership, employment and procurement as part of a drive to reverse decades of exclusion under apartheid.

The bone of contention is Sasol's newly-announced empowerment scheme, known as Khanyisa, in terms of which its black employees will get shares worth R500,000. Khanyisa succeeds the Inzalo Scheme.

Solidarity Chief Executive Dirk Hermann has previously shared his views on the issue.

“In practice, this means that a white Sasol employee with 30 years’ service at Sasol won’t receive any benefit, but an employee that has been in Sasol’s employ for three months will receive R500,000. Employees doing the same job will receive different benefits. This decision by Sasol will divide employees into racial camps and increase
racial tension.”

Solidarity previously said the draft mining charter recently published for comment in the government gazette makes it clear that an employee share ownership plan should be inclusive and may not divide workers on the basis of race.

“Sasol’s scheme is in direct conflict with the mining charter and the practice in the industry. This scheme is an inflexible scheme only aimed at scoring B-BBEE points. It is not about empowerment of the workers; it is about the commercial value of a scorecard.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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