Sun International to cut 2,300 jobs; Mashaba launches Action SA; RCL Foods; ICA

By Claire Badenhorst

  • The casino and hotel company Sun International has suffered a loss of R885m for this year to the end of June. Like other leisure and hospitality businesses, it was forced to close its doors for more than three months during the Covid-19 shutdown. Late on Monday, the company also announced that it plans to retrench 2,300 employees in South Africa, a move that could save up to R280m in employment costs. In its unaudited interim results, Sun International says while it has been hard hit by lockdown restrictions, it is optimistic that it will recover. Sun International is one of many hospitality businesses that has lodged a business interruption claim with its insurer. To see the interim results, visit BizNews.com.
  • Former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba launched his new political party, Action South Africa, on Saturday. During his stint with the DA, the Black Like Me founder was hailed for his decisiveness and for speaking out about pertinent issues. After three years Mashaba resigned from the DA because he felt that his values no longer aligned with that of the ANC’s official opposition party. While analysts seem unsure about the future of Action SA, they agree that South Africans need another strong contender in the upcoming elections, especially one that promises to correct what Mashaba calls, ‘a broken political system’. Among the party’s members so far are former DA regional leaders Funzela Ngobeni and Abel Tau, as well as former ANC MPs Makhosi Khoza and Vytjie Mentor. To find out more about Mashaba’s party and what it hopes to achieve, go to BizNews.com.
  • RCL Foods suffered a loss of R959m for the year ended June. The company, which owns brands like Rainbow Chicken, Selati, Bobtail, and 5 Star Maize Meal, was hurt by the closure of fast-food chicken restaurants during the first stage of lockdown. However, its pet food, peanut butter and rusk sales grew, and the company unexpectedly declared a dividend of 10c per share, indicating promising signs of recovery.
  • The reluctance of big insurers to pay for business interruption claims has threatened the livelihood of many small businesses in the hospitality and tourism industries. In July, Insurance Claims Africa (ICA) welcomed the Financial Services Conduct Authority’s (FSCA) announcement, which stated that the national lockdown cannot be used by any insurer as grounds to reject a client’s claim. While Santam has paid out business relief to some of its policyholders, it is refusing to pay out for business interruption claims linked to Covid-19. The fight over the fine-print will finally have its day in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday 1 September. This court case is particularly significant as the ICA believes it will set the precedent for business interruption claims in the future.
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