I am a UK based owner and breeder and the way I understand what has happened with the Grooms strike, and before anyone jumps to conclusions, one should get the background as to why this has happened.
Ross writes in the Sporting Post mailbag that when Phumelela was started there was R18 mill set aside for the Highveld Racing Development Fund and of that R18 million., R17.5 million was set aside for the improvement of Grooms accommodation.
Instead of using this money to improve the grooms accommodation Phumelela took the R18 million and paid this as a dividend to its shareholders. Therefore there has been no money spent on the improvement of the Grooms accommodation.
The Grooms have been chasing this money for nearly 20 years now and when the recent Public Protectors report came out, she announced that Phumelela ad acted illegally and she said that this money should be paid to the Grooms plus interest.
Naturally 20 years of interest on R17.5 million now stands at +/-R60 mill.
Phumelela have tried to have the report taken to court and have it overturned to avoid having to pay this money.
Naturally the Grooms have had enough with the delaying tactics.
Grooms are sleeping 5 people to a room, 20 people sharing a bathroom – I can understand why they have had enough with Phumelela!