Holding Statement

Merchants site closure (Vodacom)

Following two confirmed cases of COVID-19 at our Johannesburg site, Merchants took significant steps to remain compliant with the Department of Health and Department of Labour and went above and beyond the expected requirements to sanitise the site through deep cleaning and full fogging. Employees were immediately mobilised to work from home and this will continue to further assist with the delivery of this critical service.

Across its sites, Merchants has taken, and continues to take, substantial action to remain compliant with the departments’ outlines. Despite the steps taken, the departments have requested temporary closure of the site following an inspection and Merchants is clarifying the exact reasons for this given the extensive precautions proactively taken coupled with the previous successful audits by the key departments within the last seven days.

Merchants is committed to supporting government in the fight against COVID-19 and is engaging with the Department to better understand what further compliance is needed and will rectify the issues immediately.

Merchants has played a pivotal role to develop industry leading policies supporting its people and health and safety guidelines which have been adopted by multiple industries. It is expected that this temporary site closure will be an isolated incident as the business will quickly adapt to the changing environment under level 4 lockdown as well as government or department requirements.

Our people remain our core focus during this time and their safety will remain our utmost concern during and after the resolution of this situation. Since the services provided by our employees at the site in question are absolutely essential to the people of South Africa, Merchants is ensuring these services remain available through business continuity measures already in place.