From 30 August till the end of September 2021, the Sasol Secunda Operations plant will undergo a major facility shutdown for statutory maintenance to critical infrastructure and equipment.
The shutdown will entail the execution of more than 90 000 activities over 23 days. During this period, the size of the workforce on site will increase substantially to nearly 20 000 people, comprising Sasol employees and those of service providers. Further, a significant number of the workforce will be service provider employees who will be converging in Secunda from different geographical areas to augment the need for critical skills and they will have to adjust to Sasol’s shutdown-specific workplace safety protocols.
Sasol is acutely aware of the obligations imposed on it by the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of its employees and others present at its premises. Sasol also fully appreciates the gravity of this considering the abovementioned vastness of the shutdown activities to be undertaken by a large workforce and amid the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. This requires adherence to various other regulatory requirements, which we remain committed to complying with as well.
For these reasons, although Sasol believes that its current Covid-19 workplace prevention measures and protocols are adequate and effective to protect employees under normal working conditions, we view the upcoming shutdown as a particularly high risk event due to the possible spread of COVID-19 as South Africa is in the middle of the pandemic. This is also based on our updated workplace risk assessment, which considers the specific circumstances of the shutdown. It is therefore critical that we fulfill our workplace safety obligations by managing the shutdown as a potential super-spreader event as part of our COVID-19 workplace mitigation plan.
Protecting all employees
Sasol supports the view that implementation of mitigation measures, including vaccinations in times of pandemics, is primarily in the interest of public health and safety and for the greater good of society.
Sasol further regards to vaccination of the workforce involved in activities on site during the shutdown period as a necessary and effective measure to mitigate the increased workplace exposure to the COVID-19 and the risk of it spreading. We do this while recognising that it remains an individual’s choice to be vaccinated, which choice is to be exercised with due consideration to individual rights and without any fear of discrimination or retaliation. This is underpinned by Sasol’s Human Rights Policy.
It is for this reason that employees that will be participating in activities on site during the shutdown period are expected to submit either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test (an antigen test will be accepted) result not older than 7 days prior to commencement of the shutdown activities, and to be repeated during the shutdown period every 7 days. This, in our view, is also in the interest of the health of the public, given the prevailing pandemic. Sasol is working with the National and provincial authorities on protocols for vaccination and other pandemic related response interventions.
Sasol is currently assessing the costs associated with the testing and exploring viable means of providing enabling support. Sasol continues its engagements with the workforce and other interested and affected parties for the above purposes, including the rendering support to enable the abovementioned objectives.
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”.