By: Ujuh Reporter
Ex-employees of petrochemicals giant, Sasol, are seeing red due to what they see as an unjust exclusion in the winding down of the Sasol Inzalo B-BBEE transaction and in the establishment of the new initiative titled Sasol Khanyisa.
Many claim that they were lured into taking voluntary retrenchment packages on a promise that they will realise a considerable cash payout from the Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOP) chapter of the 2008 Sasol Inzalo transaction which terminated recently. But this pay-out did not happen and unlike the other participants in the Sasol Inzalo scheme, ex-employees were not allocated shares in the new Sasol Khanyisa B-BBEE scheme.
The ex-employees are crying foul. Their protests are all over social media platforms including on ProBonoMatters, a social media platform which has picked up the Sasol Inzalo grievances and is preparing to lodge them with the BEE Commission.
In our attempt to understand the matter we sent questions to Sasol to clarify the situation and they responded as follows:
What is the position of Sasol ex-employees in the winding down of the Sasol Inzalo transaction and the making of Sasol Khanyisa?
The Sasol Inzalo transaction for the Sasol Inzalo Employee and Management Share Ownership Plans (ESOP and MSOP) came to an end on 4 June 2018. For there to be any pay-out for employees the Sasol share price needed to be R905 per share. The Sasol share price on 4 June 2018 was R479 per share. This meant that the Sasol share price had not increased sufficiently over the 10 year period of the Sasol Inzalo transaction to repay the funding used to finance the Sasol Inzalo employee transaction.
Thus, no further payouts are expected and no Sasol shares were transferred to employees and ex-employees. Ex-employees who were not employed by Sasol on 1 June 2018 were ineligible to participate in the Sasol Khanyisa transaction.
If I was a Sasol employee from 2008 and quit the company at the end of 2017, what benefit would I have derived from the deal?
Employees who participated in the Inzalo Employee Share Ownership Plan did not make any upfront payment. Over the past ten years, dividends to ESOP and MSOP participants were declared on their “rights to shares”, half of which was used to help settle the funding. The other half was paid to employees in the form of dividends. The last Sasol Inzalo dividend was paid to employees in April 2018, before the Sasol Inzalo transaction came to an end.
Employees received approximately R57 000 in dividends per employee over the ten year period of the Sasol Inzalo transaction.
Is there anything else I need to know about the position Sasol ex-employees in this regard?
Over the past year, we have communicated extensively through various channels with our employees, as well as former employees. We welcome further queries from former employees to provide further clarity.