Company shares offered only to black workers by South Africa’s behemoth petrochemical conglomerate Sasol Limited (SASOL) has led to protests by white workers in the firm. This is a first in the history of South Africa: white workers are staging a protest against discrimination in labor. It’s been more than 20 years since the end of the apartheid system that institutionalised racial discrimination in favour of the white, overwhelmingly still wealthier minority.
SASOL introduced a share scheme which gives an exclusive opportunity for black workers. The decision predictably left close to 3,000 white workers disgruntled at their exclusion. SASOL argued it was trying to empower black workers through a share scheme but white workers have responded by calling the company racist and are only seeking equality.
The success or failure of this labor strike will surely raise further questions about South African democracy’s ability to manage the remaining tensions between majority black indigenous population and the sizable white minority. Al-Jazeera reported on the story in the video here: