Sugar producer, Hippo Valley Estates Limited has invested a total of ZWL13 million in COVID-19 mitigation measures in the workplace according to the company’s special trading update.
Hippo Valley, with the COVID-19 mitigation measures put in place, has not experienced any major disruptions to its operations with all key activities that include sugar cane maintenance, harvesting, sugar packing and distribution operations progressing satisfactorily according to the company’s chairman D. L. Marokane.
“In addition, the Company has taken robust steps to assist central, provincial and local governments and communities in combating the pandemic,” Marokane says.
“The Company has to date donated 150 000 litres of ethanol worth ZWL4 million to the State for the manufacture of sanitizers, ZWL6 million to Masvingo Province to assist with the procurement of surgical gloves, masks, critical equipment and materials for the rehabilitation of 8 district hospitals which are designated COVID-19 isolation centres.”
Hippo Valley Chief Executive Officer A Mhere says the key player in Zimbabwe’s sugar production benefits from being part of the Tongaat Hulett Group’s weekly COVID-19 War Room, which focusses on continuous monitoring of the pandemic development and coordinating of updated response plans.
“Although the country has recorded relatively few cases of infection and mortalities to date compared to other countries, the trajectory and impacts of COVID-19 are extremely uncertain, Mhere says.
“As part of its risk mitigation strategy, the Company has developed a robust Business Continuity Plan (BCP) premised on the worst case scenario that the pandemic may take a turn for the worst and that the lockdown period maybe extended for most of the season with highly disruptive consequences for the business.”
Zimbabwe had 56 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 25 recoveries and four deaths as of 25 May 2020.
Hippo Valley was deemed an essential service which has not closed down in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown.
“The demand for sugar in the local market has remained strong. As a result, the Company is adequately funded and is able to meet its working capital requirements,” Mhere says.