Court sets aside Nedlac decision on Solidarity strike

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has ruled against a decision by the National Economic Development and Labour Coucil (Nedlac) to refuse an application by trade union Solidarity for all its 180 000 members to go on strike countrywide in protest against a black economic empowerment share scheme impacting some of its members at Sasol. 

While the ruling means Nedlac will now have to review its decision, it doesn't give Solidarity the all-clear to call its members out on a sympathy strike.  

Solidarity approached the court on an urgent basis for the right of its members to go on strike in solidarity with white Sasol employees who have downed tools against what they claim is racial exclusion in Sasol's Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) share scheme, known as Sasol Khanyisa Phase 2. 

Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said in a statement: "The Sasol workers are symbolising something so many Solidarity members are experiencing. We are planning a huge protest action to support Sasol members and to protest racial exclusion. It will be a historical protest expressing a voice not heard before."

Nedlac had initially opposed the urgent application, arguing that it lacks the necessary authority to consider Solidarity's "demands".

However, the high court found that there was "no merit in contention by the first respondent that it does not have the power to entertain the applicant's section 77 (1)(b) application. That decision therefore stands to be reviewed".

The urgent application was granted with costs. 

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