Inhambane: Population protests lack of opportunities at multinational Sasol

The population of Inhambane protested this Thursday (20.05) against the multinational Sasol for lack of job opportunities for local citizens. Government recognizes problem and says it is working on a solution.

The arm wrestling between the population of the Inhassoro and Govuro districts in Inhambane and the South African multinational gas exploration company Sasol has been going on since 2019. The people complain about the lack of social responsibility of the company, which does not offer them job opportunities in the unit.

This Thursday (20.05) the people took to the streets to demand the right to a job in the company. Fanuel Jornal Baquete, president of the association of natives and friends of Inhassoro, the entity leading the movement of demands, told DW Africa that since the beginning of the project, Sasol has been hiring people from other regions, excluding the natives.

"They only look for people from Maputo, because the company that did the hiring revolved a lot around corruption," he began by saying. "They charged money to get people in, and the owners of Inhassoro didn't have access [to the work]," he denounces.

Sasol Facilities in Inhambane, Mozambique

"We will demonstrate again until they comply with everything," he added.

Pay to work

Veronica Viagem, a resident of Inhassoro, admitted to DW Africa that she was asked for money for a position at Sasol. But since she didn't have the required amount, she lost the opportunity to work at that firm. "They charged five thousand meticais (about 60 euros) to get a position. Where am I going to find this value to pay for a vacancy? It is not fair," he considers.

For Armando Jorge de Sousa, a resident of Inhassoro, the company has no interest in contributing to the improvement of the living conditions of the population. "We have been under exploitation for twenty years. Sasol is plundering our resources," he argues.

"The hospitals are in disrepair, they are not equipped and have no minor surgery service. In addition, most of the social infrastructures are in disrepair," he laments, blaming the company's lack of social responsibility.

Adelino Chambule, another resident of the region where Sasol is exploring for natural gas, says the company lies to the population.

"Sasol has the capacity to solve this small problem. We are here every day complaining, but [the company] neglects [this situation]," he stresses. "It seems to be wrapping us up," he mentions.

"I would say that Sasol can close and another multinational company can come, because it has lied a lot to the people of Inhassoro," he further complained.

Government negotiates solution

Local authorities tell DW Africa that they have already negotiated with the multinational to install mechanisms to ensure the hiring of local youths.

Salomão Mujoi, provincial director of Mineral Resources, representing the provincial government of Inhambane, met with protesters to calm tempers, but recognizes that there are unresolved issues.

"In fact, there are problems in hiring for employment, which is why we are looking for a solution," he said.

"An employment committee was created [this Thursday] integrating the stakeholders, that is, government, community and Sasol," he further assured.

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