ZIMBABWE – Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe has developed a business continuity plan (BCP) based on the worst case scenario where the COVID-19 pandemic may take a turn for the worst and the lockdown period maybe extended for most of the season with highly disruptive consequences for the business.
Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and its rapid spread across the globe, Zimbabwe, like many other countries worldwide declared a state of emergency and put the country on lockdown with effect from 30 March 2020.
In its latest special trading update, the company indicated that the BCP includes adequacy of critical supplies for the duration of the lockdown.
In addition to that, it has put in place contingency plans to enable certain groups of employees to work from home; infrastructure requirements including information technology hardware and software required to ensure continuity of operations for critical employees working from home.
The BCP has also highlighted protocols for closing a site, sanitisation and restart of the site in the event of an employee infection; financial planning for resources required to address coronavirus-related interventions; succession and critical skills plans in the event that a significant number of skilled staff are incapacitated by the virus in both the short and long term.
It has also factored in on-going communication with the key stakeholders and contributions to protect local communities from the pandemic, reports Zimbabwe Independent.
Tongaat Hulett says it has enough money for the production and marketing of sugar for the local and export market despite the effects of the pandemic which has restricted movements of goods locally and internationally.
“Due to the special dispensation granted to the company as an essential service provider, the production and marketing of sugar in the local and export market is progressing as planned,” said Tongaat chairman Dan Marokane
“The demand for sugar in the local market has remained strong. As a result, the company is adequately funded and is able to meet its working capital requirements,” he added.
To date, the company has invested a total of ZW$13 million (US$35,921) in Covid-19 mitigation measures in the workplace.
It has donated 150 000 litres of ethanol worth ZW$4 million (US$11,052) to the government as well as ZW$6 million (US$16,576) to Masvingo province for the procurement of surgical gloves, masks and other critical equipment.