South Africa

South Africa


Allegations Statement
   
The Schmidheiny family has exhibited no inhibitions in undertaking transactions with fascist countries. Holderbank did not only do business with South Africa, senior representatives of the Group were also actively engaged in the pro-apartheid lobby in Switzerland. Leading managers of Holderbank were active lobbyists and defenders of the apartheid state.
  • This goes back very far in the history of Holcim. Like many other Swiss companies Holcim was active in SA.
  • However, market entry of Holcim was prior to
    WW II; at that time there was no apartheid regime in SA.
  • It is a fact that the social policies implemented by our former Group company were leading edge in the whole country. Schools and training centers have been founded.
  • Together with the canton of Zurich we supported an engineer school for black and historically disadvantaged people in Bophuthatswana, which was under Swiss direction.
  • There can be no speak of Holcim or Holcim representatives being advocates of the apartheid regime. On the contrary, they were contributing to solutions.
   
The book mentions pending law suits against several companies which had been active in South Africa during the Apartheid regime. For the quick reader this looks like Holcim would be one of them.
  • Holcim is not part of any such law suits.
   
The exit from South Africa is surprising. Holcim reduced its share from 85% to 15%. The sale to AfriSam under the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) to pro-mote the South African economy is ques-tionable. Other factors play a role in the sale: The sales declined and Lafarge bought the competitor Blue Circle.
  • In 2007, Holcim initiated a transaction to create AfriSam (previously Holcim South Africa), the leading cement and construction materials company in the country, as part of the South African policy to support Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). Holcim sold its majority stake to a BEE-compliant consortium.
  • Since political transformation in 1994, the government of South Africa has introduced legislation and supported industry self-regulation aimed at ensuring an equivalent economic transformation, termed Black Economic Empowerment ("BEE").
  • Goals of BEE are to bring about a significant increase in the ownership, management and control of the economy by South Africans from historically disadvantaged communities.
  • Holcim has been fully supportive of the process of trans-formation in South Africa and has committed itself to ensuring meaningful and sustainable BEE in its South African Group company.