A group of investors who participated in the failed R30 billion Sasol black economic empowerment transaction titled, Sasol Inzalo, are coming together via social media to raise grievance against the scheme which promised freedom dividend but delivered financial misery for multitudes.
A Facebook Group Page titled “Sasol Inzalo robbed us” popped up a few weeks ago and has gained considerable momentum in its stated mission. The group sets out to right the wrongs of the Sasol Inzalo transaction and has been exploring different avenues to secure justice for the more than 200 000 individuals who bought into Sasol Inzalo 10 years ago. They have since joined forces with ProBonoMatters to explore ways of resolving the matter.
Amongst other initiatives, they are setting out to lodge a case with the B-BBEE Commission, which was established to police and regulate B-BBEE transactions and to prosecute abuse in the empowerment space.
ProBonoMatters is a social media platform positioned to promote social justice, primarily by enabling ordinary people to access the justice system. The platform is pillared by an online tool which allows ordinary people who can’t afford legal fees to post their legal matters with a hope of securing a free legal opinion or service.
The Sasol Inzalo B-BBEE transaction was established in 2008 as an initiative designed to redress the historical injustices caused by apartheid. This was part of a deal established in 1994 when South Africa’s key parties negotiated political transformation. To ensure peaceful transition from apartheid into a democracy, colonial capital pledged to facilitate economic reparation for the historically marginalised black people. Economic redistribution would come via B-BBEE equity deals, where white companies would issue shares, at least 25% of their total value, to black communities.
For companies like Sasol which had a direct beneficial relationship with Afrikanerdom, this deal was an easy way out from a scandalous history. And so they promised to facilitate economic redistribution via B-BBEE equity transfer deals. But what transpired out of many of these deals comes close to being a continuation of dispossession of black people.
In 2008 petrochemicals giant Sasol invited black people to participate in its B-BBEE initiatives titled Sasol Inzalo. The retail chapter of the transaction attracted more than 200 000 subscribers.
Sasol Inzalo was set to mature after 10 years in October 2018. It’s been clear for a while that the scheme was never going to create value as it was suffocating under expensive debt. Towards the end of last year, the petrochemicals giant, Sasol, declared the scheme a failure and sort to soften the blow by coming up with a new 10 years long scheme called Sasol Khanyisa.
This has not gone down well with many participants who feel that they have been taken for a ride. The ‘Sasol Inzalo robbed us’ group sets out to represent those laments.