SASOL bashing a huge success!

Published 14 September, 2009 by Kyla

On the 10th September 2009, close to 1 000 protesters gathered in Sturdee Avenue,  Rosebank, outside SASOL Headquarters, home to one of the biggest polluters in South Africa. This is a company that is responsible for 21% of SA’s Carbon Emissions and their coal-to-liquids plant at Secunda is the second largest single source of Co2 emissions on the planet! So you see, they really did deserve a bashing from us Greenies.

Earthlife Africa Jhb kindly commissioned Well Worn Theatre to come up with a Mock Theatre Trial with the theme: ‘Climate Justice Now, Let the People Talk‘. This was part of a nationwide ‘Climate Hearings’ campaign funded by Oxfam International. Yours truly attended the Durban hearings in August and I was shocked and saddened by some of the things I heard there from local South Durban residents. Namely that Big Businesses such as the BP and Shell refineries are leaving people’s lives and health devastated, and other local baddies are responsible for over-fishing, over-polluting and turning the 100 year old community of Clairwood into an Industrial and  Trucker’s Paradise.  Sad times indeed.

But cut back to Jozi and our very own Climate Hearings. We devised a play in which actors played Judge, Lawyer, Executioner and Villains: Mr S Kom (ESKOM), Miss Noo Clear (the Nuclear industry), Mr Sas Ol (duh!) and Mr R Cellar Mittal (ArcelorMittal, big bad steel company in Vanderbijl Park). The villains were very publicly put on trial for their companies’ respective Crimes against the Climate and, after being quite openly attacked by a VERY one-sided People’s Judge, their Environmental and Social Responsibility Charters and Policies were unanimously found to be severely lacking in ANY kind of truth and planetary responsibility and were sent to be chopped up by the Executioner’s Guillotine.

Needless to say the crowd, mostly Vaal residents who are directly affected by these polluters, LOVED us! Once again, we used theatre to inspire, inform and motivate. The whole day was given an added boost of fun and tongue-in-cheek irreverence by our unique brand of environmental theatre.

Ok. That was a little immodest, the day could not have happened without the great efforts of Earthlife Africa Jhb to get the disaffected parties to Joburg, nor without the fabulous work of all the actors, thanks for being so brave guys! But we really did help to give the day a bit of added extra bite. We are feeling just a teeny bit proud of ourselves for that.

Look out for details of a new coalition that will be formed in connection with all of these proceedings called Climate Justice Now! Which Well Worn will obviously be joining quick smart.

For media coverage of the day, have a look at these:

Until next time: Phansi Sasol! Phansi Eskom! Phansi Nuclear Energy! Phansi Arcelor Mittal!

People before Profits! Planet before Profits!


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