A potentially dodgy affirmative action plan by cell phone provider Vodacom needs to be clarified fast, says trade union Solidarity after a major new BEE deal.
Solidarity addressed a letter to Vodacom asking the company to provide clarity on its process to initiate the new BEE deal.
It has recently come to Solidarity’s attention that Vodacom wants to buy back its shares in the Public Investment Corporation to offer it exclusively to black shareholders by means of a special company. The value of the proposed deal is reportedly estimated at about R15 billion, making it one of the largest of its kind in the history of South Africa.
Back in 2008, Vodacom concluded a major BEE deal amounting to R7,5 billion. YeboYethu Limited, a special company that owns Vodacom SA shares for the exclusive benefit of black individuals and companies, forms part of that deal.
According to Solidarity Deputy General Secretary Johan Kruger, deals such as these would appear to exclude people who are not classified as black from certain BEE share schemes, and such deals could be attendant on the unequal allocation of shares in employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), an allocation done according to race. This is cause for concern for Solidarity.
“If these rumours are true Solidarity will not hesitate to take further action and to launch mobilisation campaigns against the deals,” Kruger said.