Companies stock up on Covid-19 fears


COMPANIES are increasing levels of stocks or working to ensure consistent supply of products in the wake of coronavirus, which has threatened economic growth plans.

Major industries and some of the country’s recreational facilities have started closing down, and taking responsive measures to decongest their premises.

Caledonia Mining Corporation (Caledonia) said it has put measures to avert the effects of the South African lockdown from affecting gold production from its Blanket mine.

The Zimbabwean-focused gold miner said management does not expect that its Blanket mine will be forced to suspend gold production.

“In anticipation of supply chain disruptions arising from Covid-19, Caledonia has increased the levels of consumable stocks at Blanket in recent weeks.

“Caledonia estimates that Blanket has adequate critical spares and mining consumables in its inventory to sustain uninterrupted gold production well past the expected duration of the supply interruption including allowing for a period of supply chain and inventory restocking after the end of the South African lockdown on 16th April,” the miner said.

Caledonia said in the event of a lockdown procedure in Zimbabwe, or an outbreak of Covid-19 infections at Blanket affecting a significant number of employees and necessitating a mine shut down, Caledonia would enter this unprecedented situation with a strong balance sheet with cash on hand at March 25, 2020 of approximately $12,5 million.

Dairibord Holdings (Dairibord) said it has put in place risk mitigation measures to ensure consistent supply of products in response to the pandemic.

The milk producer said its processing technology is such that all products are exposed to sterilization temperatures that render the intrinsic product safe from disease causing organisms such as Covid-19.

“We are working with all our suppliers and other critical stakeholders in an effort to avoid disruption of operations and to ensure consistent supply of our products and in the event of an outbreak, the business has a plan in place to assure continuity,” the company said.

Simbisa Brands (Simbisa) said the impact of coronavirus on the business could not be estimated yet.

“We are keeping abreast with government directives in each of the markets we operate in and enforcing compliance. We are urging our customers to use our Dial-a-Delivery services and encouraging takeaways and car park or kerb side pick-ups to support social distancing that will reduce the rate of infections and flatten the Covid-19 curve,” the fast food operator said last week.

“At the date of authorisation of these interim financial statements, the group could not reliably estimate the future financial impact that Covid-19 will have on the business. We will continue to monitor developments in each market and respond accordingly,” Simbisa said.

A mini survey by the Confederations of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has shown that the local manufacturing sector has suffered a 46 percent disruption in supply chains due to the pandemic.

“Zimbabwe will experience major dislocations in exports and imports as the virus spreads and countries adopt restrictive responses that curb manufacturing activities,” the country’s largest industrial body said.

Zimbabwe’s major trading partners such as China, South Africa, South Korea, Italy, Spain and Iran have been affected by the lethal virus.

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