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Benefits paid to Sasol accident victims runs into millions

20 July 2005

Sasol announced today that the benefits paid to families of the victims who regrettably died in the Secunda explosion in September last year runs into millions of rands, contrary to claims that funeral expenses of only R1 000 per family have been provided.

Sasol also reconfirmed that it remains extremely distressed by the tragic loss of human life and suffering caused to friends, families and colleagues as a result of the incident, which resulted in 10 fatalities.
It is unfortunate that with an emotive public issue, inaccurate and incomplete reports are being provided by Richard Spoor, attorney to trade unions and families of the deceased, in numerous media interviews given over the past few days.
It is a concern that the financial benefits received by the dependants of deceased Sasol employees are being made the subject of public scrutiny and, out of respect for the families of the deceased, we deem it inappropriate to disclose the exact financial benefits received by each family. However, we are compelled to correct the record and state unequivocally that the financial benefits received by them from numerous funds to which Sasol contributes are substantially greater than is currently being quoted. The total amount in pension, risk and accident benefits paid to the four Sasol employees equates to R5,8 million in present day value terms. Of this total amount, the employees' previous pension fund contributions equate to an estimated 5%. Employees did not contribute to the risk and accident benefits.
Regarding any benefits paid to the contract workers' dependants this will be contingent on the retirement and insured benefits of the individual contractors. Concerning the funerals, Sasol contributed R10 500 to each family, including those of contract workers, and not the R1000 selectively being quoted by Spoor.
In addition, requests for further compensation are considered on a case by case basis depending on the circumstances.
Sasol management also states categorically that we are cooperating with government, the unions and bereaved families constructively and in good faith and would like to find a way of resolving this painful issue speedily. Sasol would also like to confirm that our employees, including contract workers, who may be implicated in the accident are independently briefing, and being represented by, their own legal counsel. Sasol is providing financial assistance in this respect.

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