Disheartened employee speaks out after payout a lot less than he expected
CAPE TOWN - Oceana Empowerment Trust (OET) beneficiary Sfiso Buthelezi was left disheartened and enraged with the Trust after his payout after vesting this year turned out to be a lot less than what he had expected.
The 47-year-old Durban resident, who no longer works for one of the biggest fishing companies in the country, said when he was given the 10-year shareholding status in 2007, the Trust had initially promised that he would receive about R500 000 cash in 2017.
However, after the company had extended the lock-in period to 2021 it paid him less than R200 000, which was far less than the expected R500 000.
When the company entered into a deal with employees, some of them were given up to 6 000 shares with each share costing R15.
Buthelezi is among some of the 2 400 Oceana employees and former employees who have approached law firm, Haripersad Ash and Partners, to take legal action against the company with regard to the shares.
He said the company had made its employees vote whether or not it should postpone the payment, and when the majority voted “yes”, all the payments were postponed to 2021.
“All employees were then compensated for the postponement by being given between R85 000 and R100 000 once-off payment, while waiting to be paid bigger amounts in 2021.”
Buthelezi used his R100 000 to build his six-room family house after adding an amount of R150 000, which he had taken as a loan from a bank.
This was all because he was hoping that come 2021 the value of his shares would have far surpassed the R500 000. “I was hoping that this year I would be driving my own car, but I am disappointed that this will never happen,” he said.
“When the shares were finally paid in January this year, we were shocked to hear that we have to pay back a loan. They deducted the loan to the tune of R196 000 … which is why we took the matter to the lawyer for investigation,” he said.
He said he only received R155 000 from his shares, which is why he was questioning where the money went.
“I had hoped that by 2021 my life would change for the better. Now I will never be able to complete building my house because I don’t have the money that was promised to me.”
Investigations Unit – [email protected]