No agreement could be reached between Solidarity and Sasol at the CCMA yesterday. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA).

CAPE TOWN – Sasol and Solidarity yesterday participated in a mediation facilitated by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). 

The first day of mediation has been concluded and the parties will reconvene at the CCMA on 3 October 2018.

According to Solidarity Chief Executive Dr Dirk Hermann, the mediation was deferred to get more clarity on the final Mining Charter’s wording. 

Meanwhile, Solidarity’s strike continues. According to Sasol’s latest reports its maintenance project is already about 96 hours behind schedule. 

Solidarity is demanding that its white members be included in the company's new employee staff scheme, Khanyisa, which it says favours black workers. 

Solidarity’s Dirk Hermann said in a statement: “ It is not just in the interest of Sasol but of South Africa that the dispute is resolved. South Africa should not settle for simplistic solutions such as racial exclusion for complex problems."

“Mining Charter negotiations took years to complete and it involved business, government, trade unions and local communities. Through its Khanyisa Plan, Sasol wishes to contravene the agreement reached between these parties...What Sasol is doing now is the complete opposite, namely to cause major racial tension and division,” Hermann warned.

However, Sasol said that it has reaffirmed their commitment to transformation and inclusive growth through our Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) programmes, of which Sasol Khanyisa is an important component. 

"We reiterated our position that transformation is, and will remain, a business, social and moral imperative for Sasol", said the company in a statement. 

According to Sasol, Khanyisa presents its contribution to bringing about a more inclusive economy by affording an opportunity specifically to previously disadvantaged groups, as defined by the Department of Trade and Industry’s B-BBEE codes.