SEVERAL companies have been affected by the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Paper firm Sappi said yesterday that its operations had been affected.
“The unfortunate incidents of civil unrest, violence and criminal activity which are being widely reported through news channels are also impacting Sappi’s South African operations. Our primary concern is for the safety of our staff and contractors. Therefore, and as a precaution, due to transport disruptions impacting raw material supplies, warehousing and customer deliveries, the Sappi Saiccor, Tugela and Stanger mills in KwaZulu-Natal temporarily ceased production as of Monday, July 12. They will resume once it is safe and practical to do so,” Sappi said.
Work on the nearly completed Saiccor expansion and upgrade project was suspended on July 9, it said.
Sappi’s forestry operations were being reviewed daily. There had been no material damage to any of the plants, it said. Insurance was in place for all assets. Global shipments to customers through the Port of Durban had also been affected because of limitations in service and logistics and the closure of warehouse service providers.
Steve Binnie, the chief executive of Sappi, said: “Sappi is deeply saddened by the events unfolding in South Africa, and our condolences go out to the families of those in various communities who have lost loved ones. We deplore the criminal behaviour we are confronted with, which cannot be justified or excused. We have joined organised business in calling on the government to restore law and order.”
Building materials retailer Cashbuild said yesterday in a voluntary update that the violent protests and looting had negatively affected the firm.
“As at this morning, a total of 36 stores (32 Cashbuild and four P&L Hardware stores) have been damaged and looted and are currently unable to trade. Cashbuild has insurance cover in place for such events to minimise losses to the group. Although numbers were higher yesterday, 33 stores remain closed today as a precautionary measure to prevent further damage. This will be continuously reassessed as the situation in the country normalises,” it said in a statement.
Cashbuild said it would initiate a process of rebuilding, restoring and restocking the affected stores for trading, which, depending on the nature and extent of the damage, would determine the timeline to reopen.
JSE-listed aluminium supplier Hulamin, which is in a semi-industrial area in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, said yesterday that since Sunday the climate around the company’s operations had been volatile.
“A number of neighbouring retail stores have been looted and one has been gutted by fire. To date, there has been no damage to Hulamin’s property or assets. Public transport in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas has been suspended, resulting in employee turnout being low,” it said.
Hulamin said its top priority was the safety of its people and assets and had accordingly suspended operations on Monday.
The company said it was insured for all assets and loss of income.
It “strongly” appealed to the government and the security cluster to restore law and order to its community. Once stability had been established, employees would be able to return to work and operations could recommence.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE