The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has put brewer SABMiller on its list of targets ‘to ensure it implements minimum wages and give workers direct shares’.
The political party said it has already established a ‘special team’ that is working on the occupation of Absa branches across the country in 2016.
It said that Absa is specifically targeted because of its historical connection with the Broederbond.
The EFF said that many other institutions will be identified for occupation following the occupation of Absa.
On Tuesday (8 December), EFF national spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi accused SABMiller and its subsidiary, Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), of abusing workers ‘in the name of BEE’.
The Daily Maverick reported earlier this week, that SABMiller and ABI are being sued for over R6 billion in damages by 150 owner-drivers (ODs) whose contracts were axed.
An investigation by the paper, under the name: Casualties of Cola, ‘makes a compelling case for the assertion that this B-BEE-aligned owner-driver scheme is a modern day iteration of slavery that is eroding South Africa’s black middle class’.
According to the EFF, the report demonstrates the criminality with which SABMiller told workers to form independent companies of their own with a guaranteed business with the company.
They were then bought trucks, which get to be loaned to them at a cost to their commission.
The report details how many of the workers then lost their jobs, unable to pay to the extent of their commissions being lower than the salaries used to earn when they were in full employment.
“These were clearly not BEE deals that led workers to own SABMiller or ABI, they were meant to push workers out so that they are de-unionised and casualised. They are a deliberate disempowerment of workers,” Ndlozi said.
“This case demonstrates the damage that SABMiller continues to cause to the black community which is also its historic record in general. It is a fact that alcohol regulations in townships which barred home brewers of traditional beer worked to privilege the monopoly of SAB.
“Now, SAB is directly exploiting the country’s policy of BEE to relegate black truck drivers into a shameful existence of cheap labour.”
The spokesperson said: “SABMiller must be rest assured that it will be one of the targets of the economic freedom occupations to ensure it implements implements minimum wages and give workers direct shares as opposed to outsourcing them through BEE”.