Thousands paint Sandton orange during Sasol race exclusion protest

Thousands paint Sandton orange during Sasol race exclusion protest

- Solidarity expected only 2000 people during its protest in Sandton against Sasol's race exclusions

- Sasol has been accused of excluding whites from its share scheme, Sasol Khanyisa

- According to employees, black employees can buy up to R500 000 worth of shares, but whites, no matter their positions, are not allowed to purchase any shares

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Dirk Hermann, chief executive of trade union Solidarity, said they're overwhelmed by the amount of people who pitched up for the #SolidarityMarch on Thursday.

"We're overwhelmed by the amount of people who took part and made thier voices heard. Today, Sandton was painted orange," Hermann said.

Thousands showed up for the mass protest action to protest against Sasol's race exclusions.

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Hermann said Solidarity initially expected 2000 protests to arrive, but were surprised when score more protested the fuel giant's general race exclusions.

Maroela Media reported that at first, protesters marched to the JSE, where a memorandum was handed over the top management. The memorandum stated that rules and regulations be put in place, in line with international regulations, that companies on the stock exchange be notified that they cannot exclude certain people from a share scheme based on their race.

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Sasol has allowed black employees to buy as much as R500 000 worth of shares in the Khanyisa share scheme, but whites, regardless of their position within the company, are not allowed to partake.

After marching to the JSE, the protesters then marched to Sasol's head office, where another memorandum, pertaining to the Khanyisa scheme, was handed over. In the memorandum, it was also stated that Sasol should test the legality of the scheme in court.

Meanwhile, Hermann said he was proud that protesters made their voices heard without causing any damage or violence. learned that although the march was initially meant to protest Sasol's exclusions of whites, the demonstration turned into a lot more, according to Hermann.

He said Sasol, as well as other companies, see race exclusions as normal in share schemes, but Hermann added: "Today, our stance was clear - it's not normal. It's not normal to exclude people based on their race and it cannot be accepted."

In the meantime, Sasol will wait for a mandate from its members to decide whether the current strike should continue or not, pending the court process.

"We expect it will be a long and drawn out court process and it's actually sad that a person should fight such a social issue in a court."

People of all races, backgrounds and races took to the streets:

In September, reported that social media users were left in stitches after photographs went viral, which showed alleged Sasol employees conducting a strike with a braai.

Social media user, Segodi Chuene, who goes by the Twitter handle @segodi_chuene, posted the pics on the platform.

He captioned the post, "Sasol employees strike different a whole braai day strike."

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