09 December 2009 - Today, residents of Zamdela, Sasolburg and the Vaal Triangle, staged a Die-In at Sasol’s main gate in Sasolburg to bring the world’s attention to the impact Sasol’s dirty industry has on climate change.  Below is the memorandum delivered to Sasol Management, the South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs and President Zuma.

Memorandum from the residents of Sasolburg, Zamdela and the Vaal Triangle Supported by Climate Justice Now! South Africa  Date: Wednesday, 9th of December 2009 Venue: Sasol Main Gate, Sasolburg Submitted to: Sasol Management, Sasolburg; The Minister of Water and Environmental Affair and The South African Presidency 

We the people of Sasolburg and Zamdela in the Free State and the Vaal Triangle in general are saying ‘enough is enough’ the time has arrived that Sasol be held accountable for polluting our local environment and contributing to global climate change.

Today Climate Justice Now! South Africa stands in support of us the people of Sasolburg, Zamdela and the Vaal Triangle.  We the people at the gates of Sasol want to highlight to South Africans and the world that Sasol is a dying archaic industry.  It is a fossil dinosaur, whose activities result in climate change and the destruction of our planet.

Zamdela and Sasolburg was developed to supply cheap labour to the apartheid created coal to liquid plant that was built on the coal beds in the Vaal as the strategic fuel company for the apartheid government, who could not freely access crude oil on the market because of it’s racist archaic policies. 

We call on the Sasol shareholders and the management of the company to acknowledge that they have caused mach harm to the people of Zamdela and surrounding area.

We the residents of Zamdela, Sasolburg and the Vaal Triangle together with the participants of Climate Justice Now! South Africa recognise that Sasol’s dirty industry:

 Furthermore, Sasol:

Recognising the above and the present danger of climate change not only globally but also through pollution at the fence-line where we live with Sasol in our neighbourhoods, we demand the following:

1. A total reduction of all their toxic emissions including the climate change pollution such as sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, methane and methane associated volatile organic compounds.

2. That the government develop an independent intensive health study process in Zamdela investigating the pollution from Sasol and the health of the people in order to better understand the impact of the pollution on the present and past health of the people.

3. At this time of climate change negotiations that Sasol releases all information relating to their cleaner development mechanism projects in South Africa.  

4. That all monitoring stations and the information is publicly available through the process of transparent access to all Sasol’s Air Quality Monitoring Stations. 

We also stand in solidarity with other communities facing the onslaught of Sasol.  Specifically we call on Sasol and the South African government to:

1. Abandon its dirty coal to liquid plant plans in the Waterberg area 

2. To respect local communities globally and to stop lobbying for the development of coal to liquid plants that are sever climate change gas emitters in countries such as India, Indonesia, China and the United States.

Finally, we the people of the Vaal, Zamdela and CJN we will continue with our struggle against the corporate abuse and continue to fight to make out constitutional rights a reality for all in South Africa. 

Contact: Samson Mokoena, Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance Coordinator, 084 291 8510