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Sasol Statement | Sasol to cover the costs of COVID-19 tests for its employees that choose not to be vaccinated for shutdown period in Secunda

Date: 
10 August 2021

Sasol confirms that it will cover the cost of COVID-19 antigen tests as alternative for its employees who will be participating in its annual maintenance shutdown activities on site at its plant in Secunda, Mpumalanga.

 

These are employees who prefer not to be vaccinated as part of the company’s preventative COVID-19 workplace safety protocols or who wish to be vaccinated but are unable to do so in time due to reasons beyond the employee’s reasonable control. Sasol’s assistance in this regard is limited to the cost of an antigen test administered by a Sasol approved testing laboratory.  

 

However, Sasol encourages employees to get vaccinated as we support the view that COVID-19 vaccines are a safe and effective measure of preventing the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Although vaccines do not always prevent people from contracting the virus, research show that vaccines do provide protection from the severity and longevity of the virus owing to lower viral loads, meaning that it can protect you from the risk of hospitalisation and/or fatality.  From 30 August till the end of September 2021, Sasol’s Secunda Operations plant will undergo a major facility shutdown for statutory maintenance to critical infrastructure and equipment. This will involve more than 20 000 people, many of them service provider employees who will converge in Secunda from different geographical areas to augment the need for critical skills.

 

Sasol is obliged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a healthy and safe working environment for its employees and others present at its premises. This is also the intention of Sasol’s Covid-19 workplace prevention measures and protocols, which Sasol regards as of critical importance to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  

 

Sasol therefore views the upcoming shutdown at its Secunda plant as a particularly high-risk event due to the possible spread of COVID-19 as South Africa is in the middle of the pandemic. It intends to manage it as a potential super-spreader event as part of our COVID-19 workplace mitigation plan.

 

For this reason and because the company cares, Sasol requires its employees and those of its service providers who will be on site during this 23-day shutdown period to submit either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test. Only an antigen test result will be accepted, not older than 7 days prior to commencement of the shutdown activities and not any other antibody test result. The antigen test is to be repeated during the shutdown period every 7 days.

 

While Sasol regards the vaccination of its employees and those of service providers as a legitimate extra measure to enhance existing preventative workplace COVID-19 controls for the prevention and/or mitigation of risk related to COVID-19 exposure during the shutdown period, we also recognise that it remains employees’ individual choice to get vaccinated – a choice which is to be exercised with due consideration to individual rights and without any fear of discrimination or retaliation. This is also underpinned by Sasol’s Human Rights Policy.

 

Sasol is and remains committed to the safety, health and wellbeing of all its employees, those of service providers and those who live in its fence line communities.

 

Sasol may, in this document, make certain statements that are not historical facts that relate to analyses and other information which are based on forecasts of future results and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. These statements may also relate to our future prospects, developments and business strategies. Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding exchange rate fluctuations, volume growth, increases in market share, total shareholder return, executing our growth projects (including LCCP), oil and gas reserves and cost reductions, including in connection with our BPEP, RP and our business performance outlook. Words such as “believe”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “intend", “seek”, “will”, “plan”, “could”, “may”, “endeavour”, “target”, “forecast” and “project” and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and there are risks that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not be achieved. If one or more of these risks materialise, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. You should understand that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the plans, objectives, expectations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors are discussed more fully in our most recent annual report on Form 20-F filed on 28 August 2018 and in other filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The list of factors discussed therein is not exhaustive; when relying on forward-looking statements to make investment decisions, you should carefully consider both these factors and other uncertainties and events. Forward-looking statements apply only as of the date on which they are made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any of them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
 
Please note: One billion is defined as one thousand million. bbl – barrel, bscf – billion standard cubic feet, mmscf – million standard cubic feet, oil references brent crude, mmboe – million barrels oil equivalent. All references to years refer to the financial year 30 June. Any reference to a calendar year is prefaced by the word “calendar”.