Three main Labour Federations condemn Solidarity’s white strike

27 August 2018

The three main labour federations in South Africa represented at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) condemn the planned strike action by white members of Solidarity working for Sasol.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU) and the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) supports all legislation and programs aimed at enhancing Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.

Transformation in South Africa is a vital process that requires the participation and support of all races. No South African can turn a blind eye for the need to rectify the injustices caused by our country’s apartheid-era past.

COSATU, NACTU and FEDUSA believe that employers should do more to promote equal representation in the workplace.

The 17th Commission of Employment Equity report published last year pointed out that South Africa needs a new approach to Black Economic Empowerment as black people were and continue to be, disadvantaged in comparison to white people.

The legislative framework to transform the country’s economy – namely, the Employment Equity Act, No. 55, 1998; the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Amendment Act, 2013; and the Codes of Good Practice – can only succeed through consistent and unwavering implementation.

Therefore COSATU, NACTU and FEDUSA feels that Solidarity’s strike action in protest against Khanyisa, Sasol’s empowerment scheme, serves no purpose other than to fuel racial tension in the workplace and in the country at large.

Sasol is progressing with its transformation journey to make a meaningful difference to enhancing Black (African, Indian, Coloured – as defined by the dti Codes of Good Practice) ownership of the company, contributing to transforming the ownership patterns of South African companies. It has been clear of its intention with Sasol Khanyisa in this respect and that it is not a company benefit.

There are two parts to Sasol Khanyisa for employees:

  1. All Sasol employees, including white employees, who were participants in Sasol Inzalo and employed by the company at the start of Khanyisa are eligible for R100 000 worth of Sasol Limited shares which will be transferred to them in 2021. There is no debt attached to these shares.
  2. All Black employees  employed by the company at the start of Khanyisa participate in the second part of Sasol Khanyisa. Sasol has provided the funding to buy these shares that will be paid off using dividends declared by Sasol South Africa in ten years or less.

The harsh reality is that Solidarity is continuously stereotyping all white South Africans with their campaigns and does very little to further respect for the trauma of the past and a mutual understanding of racial diversity.

(436 words)

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Dennis George


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