Workers feel cheated over empowerment shares

[caption id="attachment_36933" align="alignright" width="250"] CYRIL RAMAPHOSA[/caption]

WORKERS of a company partly owned by empowerment beneficiary and Deputy President Cyril Rama- phosa are upset about the money they will receive for their empowerment shares.

Coca-Cola Shanduka Beverages, an affiliate of Shanduka, on Wednesday handed current and former workers letters stating the amount of money they will get on June 25 for their Share Appreciation Rights Scheme.

But the workers in Duduza township in Nigel, on the East Rand, said they were not satisfied.

The workers had gathered at Duduza's Freedom Square on Wednesday to voice their discontent.

A former employee who had been with the company for 17 years will only receive R3364 for the shares and an additional payment of R10205.

The company said the additional payment was "in recognition and appreciation of your contribution towards the positive improvements that the business has accomplished over the past five years, particularly the achievement of the 2013 EBIDTA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) target".

Another former worker, who was employed at the bottling company in Nigel for 28 years, will be paid R4037 for the shares and an additional appreciation payment of R14130.

Coca-Cola Shanduka managing director Matshela Seshibe explained to each employee in writing how much they would get.

"As previously communicated, the scheme is based on the increase in the valuation of the business over a five-year period.

"The valuation is determined by how well the business performs, which is measured from independently audited financial results.

"According to the rules of the scheme, all eligible associates are entitled to a 5% pay-out in proportion to the number of units allocated to them," he said.

He said during the five-year period the company delivered a profit target only twice: in 2010 and last year.

"Overall, Coca-Cola Shanduka did not meet its targets over the five-year period. As a result, there was no increase in the valuation of the business up to the end of 2012," he said.

Seshibe said the appreciation payment equates to 3.5 times the share scheme value the workers had earned. Tshepo Phiri said the employees felt cheated.

"The workers are angry because we expected Ramaphosa to also empower us through the scheme." - Mpho Sibanyoni