Disrupting Sasols Agm While Benefitting From Its Products

19 Days(s) Ago    👁 70
disrupting sasols agm while benefitting from its products

Sasols AGM wascancelledon Friday, 17 November, when a group of protesters stormed the stage in the meeting room where Sasols chair and directors were getting ready to address shareholders at the groups headquarters in Johannesburg.

Environmental grouping Extinction Rebellion confirmed to Moneyweb that it staged the protest at the AGM. Organiser of the eventMalik Dasoosays the protest action was successful. It was the first time an AGM in SA was disrupted in such a way. It is significant.

Sasol vs Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion is concerned about Sasols emissions of greenhouse gases.

Dasoo says Sasol is not doing enough to reduce CO 2 emissions and has missed every single target it has set for itself.

Legislation requires that companies call a shareholders meeting every year with a list of regulations, protocols, discussions and decisions that shareholders must approve by way of voting.

Actually reserved for shareholders, big companies usually welcome other stakeholders too.

However, only shareholders can vote.

Shareholders can also give a proxy to any other party to attend an AGM and ask questions and vote on their behalf.

Dasoosays Extinction Rebellion got 15 shares from a shareholder to get into the meeting, and that it might disrupt the next AGM too if they let us in again.


Not always written down and read out to shareholders, company management and other attendees expect good manners and decency during a meeting where important matters are discussed. After all, Sasol is a R142 billion company generating R290 billion in sales and employing more than 30 000 people.

Sasol says in a statement that its chair accommodated the protesters and went further by inviting them to a meeting with representatives of the board, which was declined.

Once it became clear that the protesters would not accommodate the effective participation of other shareholders, cancelling the meeting became the only prudent option, as the chairman was inhibited from effectively communicating with the shareholders present at the meeting, according to the statement.

The protesters voluntarily dispersed without any incident after the meeting was cancelled.

Sasol chair Stephen Westwell says Sasol regrets the inconvenience caused to other shareholders by the disruption.

Sasol said in a formal statement that a new date will have to be set.

Bullying from behind a veil

Protesters have made bullying tactics their weapon of choice, whether it is Just Stop Oil protesters glueing themselves to roads to disrupt traffic or 15 Extinction Rebellion activists shouting down a meeting that is required by law.

Dasoo admitted to Moneyweb that he realises that it is a lawful requirement that companies call an AGM and that its protest prevented this.

There is always an element of breaking the law when protesting, he says, adding that this is madeclear to all participants.

The SA grouping of Extinction Rebellion describes itself as a grouping of individuals, apparently avoiding a formal structure.

We organise in small groups. These groups are connected in a complex web that is constantly evolving as we grow and learn. We are working to build a movement that is participatory, decentralised and inclusive, according to the groups SA website.

We are based on autonomy and decentralisation. We collectively create the structures we need to challenge power. Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion, it says.

:At the core of Extinction Rebellions philosophy is non-violent civil disobedience. We promote rebellion because we think it is necessary. We are asking people to find the courage to do collectively what is necessary to bring about systemic change.

The groups informal structure creates an effective barrier to avoid the consequences of the groups actions.

When disrupting traffic causes the death of a baby, for example, there is no formal entity or any organisational head to take to task.

It is very difficult for a company like Sasol to hold an individual liable or forcibly evict 15 protesters from a meeting, because then big bad Sasol will be portrayed as a violent bully attacking a peaceful mother who cares about the future of her small daughter.

Products: SA still needs Sasol

While Sasol admits that its plans to cut carbon emissions are taking longer to implement than planned, it regularly repeats its commitment to doing better.

Its big shareholders are also watching such as Ninety One, which is using the clout of its R2 831 billion in assets under management to motivate change.

Ninety One stated before Sasols AGM that it would vote against the companys climate report, in accordance with the asset managers strategy to engage with companies on climate change issues rather than reducing its investm