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COVID-19 - SUMITOMO DUNLOP OPERATIONS UNDER LEVEL 4

Friday, 08 May 2020

"SUMITOMO RUBBER SA: OPERATIONS UNDER LEVEL 4 LOCKDOWN"

Dear Partners and Colleagues,

From Friday, 1st May 2020, KwaZulu Natal has moved to a Level 4 lockdown. As a manufacturer in the Automobile industry, what this means is that we need to be operating with a maximum of 50% of total headcount at all times on site. In addition, the Automotive Manufacturing Sector which is dependent on market demand, services and vehicle maintenance will need to move in a phased start up approach as lockdown starts to become less restrictive.

Currently as we stand coming out of the Level 5 lockdown, we have had zero production and were able to sell approx. 10% of our normal sales for emergency services only. During Level 4 however, we are able to manufacture within limits and our dealers are now allowed to sell tyres to all persons albeit still on an emergency basis. This is great news for us!

In respect of COVID-19, we are aware, this is a new virus for humankind, and we are all at risk of getting this disease. Thus, extra prevention measures are necessary and in the case of SA, we have chosen to be extremely careful to limit the spread.

Sumitomo Rubber SA has fully supported the initiatives and suggested measures put forward by Government. Although there is widespread uncertainty around the world, we have a lot to be thankful for, in that the virus could have had far more devastating results than it has been in our country. Moreover, we have the backing of SRI, our Global company, throughout this period. They will also be sending through 200 000 disposable masks to South Africa to use within our factory and sites to ensure that all employees health and wellbeing is maintained.

Under the COVID-19 Risk Adjusted Strategy – Level 4: Draft Framework, we would like to advise that from Saturday, 2nd May, production in accordance with an implemented shift pattern for both our TBR and PCR plants has commenced. From an office and branches perspective, we will continue to operate on a rotation/remote working structure.

In addition, we are taking care of all COVID-19 strategic protocols under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) in particular the Hazardous Biological Agents Regulations governing workplaces in relation to Coronavirus Disease 2019 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

This Directive applies to employers and workers in respect of the manufacturing, supply or provision of essential goods or essential services and any workplace permitted to continue or commence operations before the expiry of the Lockdown Regulations.

To that end, it is mandatory for all staff to wear masks and to make sure that desks, equipment, and the like are sanitized every morning and evening. There will also be daily compulsory screening and now, the use of a biometric card to access the building thereby limiting people from using their fingerprints. Provisions of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, a social distancing seating plan and staggered lunches have also been implemented.

Furthermore, while on site, we will continue to monitor all employees who may exhibit symptoms of the virus and impose medical surveillance on them immediately, especially those who are 60 years and older and/or with pre-existing conditions.

Kindly find the published regulations, for ease of reference here: https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/202004/43257gon479.pdf

Finally, as a nation we are fighting an unprecedented virus. Therefore, I would like to reiterate that large-scale social and behavioural changes will be the best defence in tackling the?virus; and together with our families and communities we must protect each other.

Remember, I wash my hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers regularly, always wear my mask and practice social distancing to protect YOU from ME. If you do the same, we will protect each other.

As we know more, we will advise you.

Asivikelane! Let’s Protect Each Other!

Warm Regards,

Riaz Haffejee
CEO

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