CR: Level 3 lockdown from 1 June but hotspots closely monitored; booze allowed, no ciggies; Sasol; Hertz

By Jackie Cameron

  • South Africa’s strict lockdown measures are set to ease significantly in June 2020, with many allowed to go back to work and buy alcohol. But special task teams will monitor areas that have been declared hot spots, which includes the major city centres around South Africa. Borders will remain closed but air travel will be slowly relaxed for business. These changes were announced by the President on Sunday night as he unveiled government plans to get the economy restarted. South Africa moves to level 3 of the Covid-19 containment plan. Commuters will be expected to wear masks. And, unfortunately for smokers, the cigarette ban will not be lifted any time soon. He also addressed the concerns of the restaurant industry, saying the government is trying to figure out what’s next for hospitality. Listen to these snapshots from President Cyril Ramaphosa, who also noted that Covid-19 cases are being reported at an ever-faster rate. For more on how South Africa is coping with Covid-19, listen to Inside Covid-19 with Alec Hogg, who analyses the details and provides fresh insights on the pandemic.
  • Hertz Global Holdings, the car-rental company founded with a dozen Ford Model Ts over a century ago, has filed for bankruptcy in the US. Its plan is to use the Chapter 11 filing to allow it to keep operating while it devises a plan to pay creditors and turn around the business. “With the severity of the Covid-19 impact on our business, and the uncertainty of when travel and the economy will rebound, we need to take further steps to weather a potentially prolonged recovery,” Paul Stone, Hertz’s chief executive officer, said in a statement (source: Bloomberg).
  • Petrochemicals giant Sasol, which has been hit by high debt levels and falling oil and chemical prices, has warned that it expects its full-year headline earnings to decrease by at least 20%. Sasol is due to report results for the financial year to June 30, 2020, on Aug. 17, reports Reuters. Its share price was among the big losers on the JSE on Friday.
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