Sasol: Solidarity to take to Sandton's streets
POLITICSWEB / 21 OCTOBER 2018 - 18.01 / DIRK HERMAN
Streets to be closed off as protesters hand over memorandums to JSE and company's head office
Solidarity is going to take to Sandton’s streets to protest Sasol’s racial scheme
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Major traffic disruption is expected in the Johannesburg area on Thursday when several convoys organised by the Solidarity Movement will converge on Sandton for a protest march in support of Sasol workers who are protesting their exclusion from Sasol’s Khanyisa employee share ownership plan. Fellow Solidarity members and the community will come out in their numbers to support hundreds of Sasol workers.
Streets in Sandton will be closed off while protest-goers hand over memorandums to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and to Sasol at its Head Office. At the same time, Solidarity will serve court papers on Sasol to test the legality of Sasol’s Khanyisa plan.
This protest comes in the wake of a dispute between Sasol and Solidarity about the exclusion of white workers from Khanyisa.
“It is a pity we have to resort to the courts and take to the streets about exclusion based on race. We were under the impression that there was consensus in South Africa that the absolute exclusion of workers based on race was a thing of the past. The Mining Charter paved the way in finding a solution to this issue: After years of negotiation government, trade unions, mining companies and communities agreed that all workers must be included in employee share ownership plans. The premise is that workers are workers and that they should not be divided by race. Even the empowerment charter finds Sasol in the wrong. The company, however, chose to break the agreement for commercial reasons,” Solidarity Chief Executive Dirk Hermann said.
Solidarity members started with strike action at Sasol at the beginning of September. The strike led to major disruption in Sasol’s output. The CCMA came with an intervention but Sasol refused to make any concessions.
“It is very symbolic to have the protest in Sandton, in the heart of major international and national capital and media interest. It is fitting that Sandton’s roads will be cut off because workers are being cut-off from employee share ownership plans. This march will put the issue on the international table. We have also decided to hand over a memorandum to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to send a clear message to all companies in South Africa that this type of racial discrimination is not acceptable,” Hermann said.
A convoy of buses and cars will leave from the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria at 08:00 on Thursday morning. Various smaller convoys will come from other places in the country to join up with them. People who want to join the protest-goers can safely congregate at the Rosebank Union Church from where buses will depart for Mushroom Farm Park in Sandton, where the march will start at 11:00.
Statement issued by Dirk Hermann, Chief Executive: Solidarity, 21 October 2018
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