PPC work­ers rally around Ketso

CityPress - - Business - DE­WALD VAN RENS­BURG de­wald.vrens­burg@city­press.co.za

Em­ploy­ees of ce­ment maker PPC have launched a pe­ti­tion cam­paign call­ing on the company’s board to re­in­state Ketso Gord­han as CEO.

This comes in the wake of Gord­han all but an­nounc­ing his in­ten­tion to rally share­hold­ers be­hind his re­in­state­ment – and against the board – after his shock res­ig­na­tion three weeks ago.

A PPC man­ager has pro­vided City Press with signed pe­ti­tions car­ry­ing about 920 sig­na­tures – almost half the PPC work­force in South Africa. He claims there are hun­dreds more. The cam­paign started at PPC’s Port El­iz­a­beth op­er­a­tions on Septem­ber 26, four days after Gord­han’s res­ig­na­tion was pub­licly an­nounced.

The pe­ti­tion says Gord­han’s ab­sence “un­der­mines our strat­egy” and has re­sulted in de­mor­al­i­sa­tion.

“We feel it is im­per­a­tive that the board of PPC ap­proach Ketso Gord­han to re­tract his res­ig­na­tion,” read the pe­ti­tion.

This week PPC em­ploy­ees at the Jupiter ce­ment plant in Ger­mis­ton at­tended a talk by the chair­per­son of the board, Bheki Sibiya, wear­ing black and sport­ing “Bring Ketso back” plac­ards as well as pho­tos of the for­mer CEO.

Sibiya, who be­came ex­ec­u­tive chair after Gord­han’s de­par­ture, has been on a tour to visit all PPC’s sites and speak to em­ploy­ees.

When con­tacted by City Press, Gord­han swore that he had noth­ing to do with the pe­ti­tion, adding that he was “very grate­ful for the support”.

Gord­han re­signed after the board re­fused to let him fire a se­nior man­ager who he felt was ob­struc­tive to his strat­egy. How­ever, he hastily re­tracted the res­ig­na­tion two days later, but the board re­fused to bring him back and in­stead an­nounced his de­par­ture a day later.

PPC’s share price fell from R32.50 to about R30, but has con­tin­ued to slide since then.

On Fri­day, the share price was R28.47.

PHOTO: FOTO24

PROTEST POL­I­TICS Protest­ing em­ploy­ees at PPC’s Jupiter ce­ment plant in Ger­mis­ton this week called for Ketso Gord­han’s re­in­state­ment

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