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Premier Fishing donates food parcels to workers impacted by Covid-19

Published May 5, 2020


CAPE TOWN – JSE-listed Premier Fishing has donated at least 200 food parcels to its seasonal workers, to help them and their families get through the tough Covid-19 period.

The fishing company, which operates in fishing communities such as Saldanha, St Francis Bay, Gansbaai, Hout Bay and Cape Town, said the workers were those who had been unable to work as a result of the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

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Although Premier Fishing falls within the essential service category, the company said it followed the guidelines of the World Health Organization, the National Institute For Communicable Diseases (NICD) of South Africa and the local government.

The country’s fishing industry received an exemption from the lockdown after being designated it as being vital to the domestic food industry the National Coronavirus Command Council.

Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy said the council exempted the fisheries sector, as well as the harbour, fishing vessels, shipping and docking services from the lockdown conditions.

A company spokesperson, who was reluctant to comment as the donation was really between the company and its staff and not aimed at getting publicity, explained a number of its staff were seasonal workers due to the nature of the industry.

The spokesperson said some of the staff members were sole breadwinners and had not had an income for at least three months. “We create employment in the communities but with Covid-19 we had to proceed with a skeleton staff.”

Premier Fishing, owned by Sekunjalo’s JSE-listed African Equity and Empowerment Investment is currently well positioned in the fishing industry for growth due to strong and solid empowerment credentials. Its range of activities involves about 1 000 permanent and seasonal staff, as well as factories, facilities and vessels operating in three provinces.

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The company on Tuesday advised shareholders that Thawt and Crowe had been appointed as its joint external auditors with effect from April 30. It said Crowe, a member of Crowe Global, would sign the audit opinion until such time as Thawt had been accredited by the JSE at which point the audit opinion would be jointly signed.

“The appointment supports the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors strategy and vision of widening the auditor base as this appointment brings with it a new extract of auditor expertise on to the JSE platform and also partly addresses the issue of concentration of global audit firms on the JSE.

“In addition, the Company believes that this appointment will enhance social cohesion and broad-based black economic empowerment which are both equally important to the future of our country,” Premier Fishing said in a statement on the Stock Exchange News Service.

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It said this audit rotation brought with it enhanced capability and a new perspective to stakeholders as the new auditors would engage with the company and interrogate the financial statements for the first time.