|Wescoal - business continuity and management plans|
|25 March 2020 11:56|
|Following the President’s announcement of a 21-day nationwide lockdown which comes into effect at midnight on Thursday, Wescoal deemed it appropriate to provide an update on the steps it has taken to minimise the spread of COVID-19, the Company’s operational status, as well as our business continuity plans for the lockdown period.
Coal producers and power stations are included as essential service in South Africa and are to remain operational. Additionally, Wescoal supplies coal to other essential services like hospitals through our Trading Business. By virtue of this, it is an essential service-provider in the electricity and energy space.
While core, essential functions in the organisation will be required to continue working throughout the lockdown, the Company has undertaken to act responsibly and to do its part in preventing further spread of the virus, by implementing business continuity measures together with its mining contractors across the breadth of its operations. These include controls and protocols to ensure the health and safety of all staff on our sites, without any business interruptions using technologies to facilitate operational and head office meetings and to work remotely as appropriate, including;
• Support functions will be required to work remotely as well as alternate shifts as required.
• Inter-provincial travellers will be required to work remotely from home.
• Critical meetings will only take place online and non-critical meetings will be cancelled.
• Formal plans with contractors addressing COVID-19 preventative measures including sanitization and hygiene best-practices to be implemented immediately
Additionally, we are keeping in frequent and close contact with Eskom which represents a majority of our production and supply. Eskom has confirmed the status of Wescoal as an essential services provider in the electricity generation value chain, and specifically requested the continuity and uninterrupted supply of Wescoal’s contracted coal to its power stations during the national lockdown period.
The unfolding COVID-19 events are unchartered territory for all of us and we therefore assure shareholders and the market, that our actions will be based on the best interest of the country and that we will align with the National Government guidelines as they evolve.
The management team will also be engaging on a daily basis to ensure that risks are managed timeously as they arise. The executive committee will continue taking advice from relevant organisations, including the National Department of Health and the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy as well as key strategic stakeholders to manage the business through the coming months. We will also continue to monitor the effectiveness of our actions within prevailing conditions and we will appropriately respond as conditions change and more information becomes available.
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