Gathering of an expected 2000 SASOL Ex-workers at Tshwane City Hall Lawns –

Gathering of An Expected 2,000 SASOL Ex-Workers at Tshwane City Hall Lawns, Pretoria today, April 7, 2011 between 11:00 and 13:00 to Demand the Intervention of The Presidency in the Resolution of Disputes with SASOL

This morning, some 2,000 Ex-Workers of SASOL and its affiliates from its Sasolburg site, will meet officials of The Presidency on the lawns outside theTshwane City Hall to demand the intervention of the President in the resolution of ongoing disputes involving SASOL over the past twenty-four years, since the illegal dismissal of some 2,400 workers for participating in a legal strike for increased wages on October 1, 1987. Some workers had service records of 35 years.

Today, the ex-workers are demanding that SASOL’s Pension Fund pay out their contributions, accumulated from their salary deductions over many years. SASOLhas indicated that its ‘dismissed’ ex-workers will not benefit from the current pension fund apportionment disbursements. SASOL’s corporate track record includes shameful treatment of its workers, pricefixing convictions and evidence of harmful environmental pollution with major health consequences. This record contrasts with the respectful way in which ex-workers have tried to resolve disputes with SASOL through meetings with SASOL’s Board and the tabling of proposals for a way forward including June 2006 proposals for a Community Investment Programme for Ex-Workers. SASOL’s Management has yet to respond.

On March 11, 2011, SASOL proudly announced a “Groundbreaking Expansion forSASOL and for Sasolburg” – an investment of R8,4 billion into a project to doubleSASOL’s wax production capacity at its Sasolburg site. SASOL announced that 3,500 construction jobs would be created. Towards trying to hold SASOL to its promise to offer any local employment opportunities first to its ex-workers, a cohort of some 500 ex-workers went to the SASOL Head Office at Sasolburg on March 17, 2011 to hand over a memorandum. SASOL’s Management summoned the police who brutally assaulted the waiting ex-workers, in scenes reminiscent of the 1987 strike. The ex-workers reconvened the following day to try again to hand over their memorandum. Again they were attacked by police, with some 40 individuals being arrested and held in police custody until March 22, 2011, when all charges against them were dropped in the Sasolburg Magistrate’s Court.

Khulumani calls on the President to support the ex-workers in their struggle for justice and to demand that SASOL becomes an honest broker in its dealing with its ex-workers so that closure may finally be brought to one of corporate South Africa’s longest and most shameful human rights tragedies.

For more information, please contact:

  • Mr Lenning Makhiwane 083 954 6417 – SASOL Ex-Workers
  • Mr Daniel Letebele 073 476 5233 – SASOL Ex-Workers
  • Dr Marjorie Jobson 082 268 0223 – Khulumani National Director
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