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SEARCH FOR SASOL ARTISANS (article first published : 2007-10-24)

When the South African government-of-the-day sought to solve its petrol problems by the creation of the Sasol plants in Sasolburg and Secunda, many of the best boilermakers, welders, fitters-and-turners and engineers were “bruin ou’s” from Durban. It is believed that up to 23,000 people were involved in the building of the Sasol plants – with workers coming from 21 nations.

Durban writer / director Gail Snyman is looking for names of artisans who died either directly from incidents incurred as a result of the “Sasol Boom”, or from road accidents commuting from Durban to the Sasol refineries. She wants to pay tribute to these unsung heroes who perished in this particular chapter in the history of Durban’s coloured community. This story comes under the spotlight in her poignant Sasol Fever which opens at the Catalina Theatre on October 30.

The exodus of qualified men from the Coloured community of Durban commuting to the Sasol construction sites made for some hilarious, and heart- wrenching stories. This original musical penned by Gail Snyman tells this fascinating tale.

Gail Snyman is a veteran Durban theatre personality and community activist who has previously staged work which focuses on issues and identity with specific reference to Durban’s Coloured community.

Sasol Fever is based on her own experiences and observations in Wentworth and Merebank. It offers insight into South African township life over the last 40 years based on extraordinary stories of her youth. It is a vignette encapsulating the emotional, psychological and physical experiences of people living in these communities.

The show boasts an exciting young cast, featuring Chantal Snyman; Loyiso Macdonald; Megan Snyman; Danville Ross; Daisy Spencer; Grant Jacobs; Mayuri Naidu and Rory Booth.

Sasol Fever runs from October 30 until November 18 from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 20h00 (Sundays at 18h00). Tickets R65 (R35 pensioners and students) available online at www.strictlytickets.com or on 031 305 6889. Performances from October 31 to November 4 - Buy One Get One Free

Those with names of friends or family who perished in the construction of the Sasol plants are asked to contact Gail Snyman on 083 643 1923.




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