COMMENT

Sasol Khanyisa: Strike mandate issued against racial exclusion – Solidarity

Union says shop stewards will begin with a strike referendum among its approximately 6 300 members at company

Sasol Khanyisa: Solidarity shop stewards issue strike mandate against racial exclusion 

4 July 2018

Solidarity shop stewards from Sasol today unanimously issued a mandate that a strike might be proclaimed in protest against Sasol’s controversial empowerment scheme, Khanyisa that excludes white employees.

A shop stewards’ meeting followed, after the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) issued a certificate to Solidarity on 14 June, enabling its members to strike legally.

According to Solidarity Deputy Chief Executive Officer Johan Kruger, the shop stewards will begin with a strike referendum among the approximately 6 300 members of Solidarity at Sasol. “This will be the first time that white workers in South Africa will strike due to racial exclusion,” Kruger said.

This follows after Sasol announced last year that it is going to replace its existing employee empowerment scheme Inzalo, which included everyone regardless of their race, with Khanyisa. However, this employee empowerment scheme does not make provision for white employees. Inzalo came to an end on 8 May this year. “Thus, the past at Sasol was inclusive for all employees, but the future at Sasol excludes whites,” Kruger said.

According to the draft Mining Charter, empowerment schemes should be inclusive, regardless of race. Sasol’s scheme is directly opposed to the Charter as well as the general practice regarding empowerment schemes.

According to Kruger the unfairness can be best illustrated by the fact that a white employee with 30-years’ service won’t receive any shares, but that a black person who just came out of school and has only worked at Sasol for 3 months will receive shares to the value of R500 000. The only difference between the two employees is the colour of their skin.

A system that divides employees based on their race is a recipe for racial tension. This tension is already clearly visible at Sasol,” Kruger concluded.

Issued by Francois Redelinghuys, Spokesperson, Solidarity, 4 July 2018