Tribunal orders SAB to set aside portion of BEE Scheme’s benefits...
POLITY.ORG.ZA / 30 MARCH 2020 - 13.11 / STAFF REPORTER
The Tribunal has today issued an order instructing South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd to set aside a portion of its BEE Scheme’s top-up benefits for former employees, pending the outcome of the final determination of the Competition Commission investigation. This follows an application for urgent interim relief by Coca Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA).
CCBSA on behalf of its employees claimed that conditions of the merger -- whereby the Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) bought SABMiller shares held in Coca Cola Beverage Africa (CCBA) -- have been breached. Former SABMiller employees that were transferred to CCBSA as a result of that merger continued to remain beneficiaries under the SAB Zenzele Employment Trust, through a condition that was imposed by the Tribunal. These employees have now been excluded in top-up benefits allocated by SAB. It is these top-up allocations that have become the subject of the dispute. Background CCBA at the time of the merger was a subsidiary of the SABMiller Group. As a result of the merger SABMiller employees were transferred to CCBSA. As part of their employment with SAB, these employees were beneficiaries of the Zenzele Employment Trust under the umbrella of the Zenzele scheme (SABMiller’s broad-based black economic empowerment programme). During the merger hearings, SABMiller undertook that these former employees would continue to benefit from the Zenzele scheme as if the merger never happened. The undertaking became a merger condition imposed by the Tribunal. In late 2019 (and in anticipation of the impending maturation of the Zenzele Scheme on 31 March 2020) the allocation committee communicated to certain beneficiaries that top-up benefits would be allocated to beneficiaries. However, the former SABMiller employees were excluded. CCBSA believes that the former SABMiller employees must be included in the top-up allocation. It reported this to the Commission as a breach of the merger conditions imposed by the Tribunal. The Commission is still in the process of investigating.
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER