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Trade union Solidarity says Sasol finds itself on the wrong side of the Mining Charter. 

According to the Mining Charter, employees must share in company shareholding and all employees must benefit from employee share ownership plans.

As such, the Mining Charter does not make a distinction between employees based on race.

Arising from the new Mining Charter, Solidarity has requested Sasol to amend its Khanyisa scheme, a scheme which excludes white employees because of their race. This is according to Solidarity chief executive Dr Dirk Hermann.

The trade union also indicated that it had approached the Department of Mineral Resources and the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to explain the intention and spirit of the charter to the parties involved.

“Being part of the mining industry Sasol has to comply with the Mining Charter. The new Mining Charter is the product of intense negotiation and consultation between government, mining companies, trade unions and the communities which spanned many years and which ultimately led to consensus being reached,” comments Hermann.

“If Sasol does not amend its Khanyisa employee share ownership plan, then they are not observing the consensus achieved between parties in the mining industry,” he continues.

According to Hermann, the negotiators of the Charter went out from the premise that workers were merely workers and that no distinction based on race should be made on the factory floor.

“Such distinction in shareholding can lead to racial tension, which indeed is now the case at Sasol,” says Hermann.

Solidarity and Sasol will meet again at the CCMA Wednesday, 3 October.

“At this meeting, Solidarity will request that the dispute between the parties be resolved within the definition of the Mining Charter,” notes Hermann.

Meanwhile, Solidarity has announced that planning is underway for a huge march to Sasol’s head office in Sandton.