Home » South African businessman Fleetwood Grobler-led Sasol declares force majeure due to Transnet strike

South African businessman Fleetwood Grobler-led Sasol declares force majeure due to Transnet strike

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Fleetwood Grobler

Sasol, a South African integrated energy and chemicals group led by businessman Fleetwood Grobler, has declared force majeure on the supply and export of certain chemical products, citing a strike at state-owned logistics company Transnet as the cause.

Transnet workers went on strike nearly two weeks ago over a wage dispute, shutting down freight rail and port operations and stifling exports from the country.

Sasol, a leading chemical manufacturer, and producer of liquid fuels, stated that the strike disrupted the movement of raw materials and products between its plants and ports, potentially preventing it from fulfilling existing contracts.

The group also stated that, while the Natref refinery continues to operate normally, production rates at selected plants in Secunda and Sasolburg have been significantly impacted.

Sasol is an integrated energy and chemicals group headquartered in Sandton, South Africa’s affluent Gauteng Province. It is a major producer of liquid fuels, chemicals, and electricity, as well as a well-known developer of technologies such as synthetic fuels.

Under the leadership of Grobler, president and CEO of Sasol, the South African energy and chemical group operates in 33 countries and employs 30,100 people globally.

While providing some key indicators for the group’s financial performance in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2023, Fleetwood Grobler stated that lower sales volumes during the period are the result of several challenges, which may be exacerbated by the recent Transnet disruption.

Having benefited from a favorable macroeconomic environment in comparison to last year, the group has begun to feel the effects of weaker global economic growth, as well as a drop in chemical pricing and higher feedstock costs.

Grobler explained that the company’s challenging operational environment requires it to focus on actions within its control, such as increasing productivity in its mining business, embedding operational excellence, and improving customer focus and market demand alignment.

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