Dis-Chem CFO admits sales suffered after ‘no-whites’ jobs moratorium

Dis-chem Pharmacies is facing major backlash after its management placed a moratorium on the hiring of white staff.

Dis-chem Pharmacies is facing major backlash after its management placed a moratorium on the hiring of white staff.

Published Nov 4, 2022


Durban - Dis-Chem has revealed that the group suffered a decline in sales following the leak of its moratorium on the hiring of white staff.

According to Daily Investor, Dis-Chem CFO, Rui Morais, said sales had declined after the letter by Dis-Chem CEO, Ivan Saltzman went viral.

Morais added that the company's growth trend reversed between October 17 and 24. He said by October 25, the trend had reversed again.

Morais added the debacle did impact on the group's short-term sales. He said that Dis-Chem's intention was misunderstood.

Last month, Dis-Chem faced massive backlash after Saltzman, explained that following a recent review of both the Employment Equity profile in the organisation and the recent BBBEE verification process, it was evident that the organisation’s efforts to effect transformation in terms of its employee profile remained inadequate.

The letter to all senior management said: “We are growing at a fast rate and a few appointments other than white don’t cut it. It’s the ratio between white and black that counts. So, when no suitable black candidate is found and a white is appointed, we need several blacks just to maintain the status quo, never mind moving forward.

"A moratorium is placed on the appointment of white individuals. This includes external and internal appointments."

Saltzman added that with Dis-Chem being a JSE listed company, these are harsh measures and necessary if the company is to remain profitable and to avoid a potential fine of 10% of turnover which would cripple the business.

Dis-Chem has since retracted its letter although it has said it stands by the policy.

Meanwhile, Business Report reported Dis-Chem’s earnings grew by 44% for the half-year ended August 31, 2022.

It said the pharmacy was boosted by consumer shopping habits and routines, which were almost restored to pre-Covid levels.

In its six months results released on Wednesday, the group said its headline earnings per share were 70.1 cents, a 44.3% hike from the prior comparable period.

Retail revenue grew by 9.3% to R14.4 billion with comparable pharmacy store revenue at 3.6%.