Company news in brief

30 March 2020 | Business

Anglo American expects iron, coal hit

Anglo American expects output at its Kumba Iron Ore mine in South Africa to fall by up to 3 million tonnes in 2020 because of a 21-day lockdown and coal export production to be up to 2 million tonnes lower, it said on Friday.

The London-listed miner also lowered output of platinum and diamonds in South Africa, extended a slowdown in construction at its Quellaveco copper project in Peru and paused work in its Woodsmith polyhalite project in Britain.

Anglo American said its workforce across different minerals in South Africa would be cut by 50% to 75% during the country's 21-day lockdown, adding that major operations in other countries had so far not been materially impacted.

The company had previously expected output this year of 41.5 million to 42.5 million tonnes at Kumba and to mine about 26 million tonnes of coal for export in South Africa and Colombia. – Nampa/Reuters

Transnet to scale down transport

South Africa's state logistics firm Transnet said on Friday it would scale down transportation services and non-essential cargo operations during the 21-day nationwide lockdown over coronavirus.

Transnet said it had taken a decision to close all automotive terminals and multi-purpose terminals at ports of East London, Saldanha, Port Elizabeth and Maydon Wharf in Durban.

Coal will continue to be transported to state-run utility Eskom's power stations, Transnet said.

Vodacom chairman to retire in July

The chairman of Vodacom Group, Jabu Moleketi, will step down from the board and retire on July 21, the South African telecoms firm said on Friday.

Saki Macozoma, who is now lead independent non-executive director, will take over from Moleketi from July 22, Vodacom said in a statement. He was appointed to the board in 2017.

Moleketi, 62, a former deputy finance minister, was appointed to the Vodacom Group board in 2009 and appointed chairman in 2017, replacing Peter Moyo.

He is chairman of investment firm Brait SE and cement firm PPC and has served on several boards, including the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Remgro and Nedbank Group.

Macozoma's lead independent non-executive director role will be taken up by David Brown, the company said. – Nampa/Reuters

Mediclinic names former Lloyd's CEO as chair

Mediclinic International Plc has appointed former chief executive of Lloyd's of London, Inga Beale, as an independent non-executive director and its next chairwoman, the company said on Friday.

Beale will succeed chairman Edwin Hertzog after his retirement on July 22, the healthcare services company said in a statement.

Beale was the first female chief executive of the 330-year old insurance market Lloyd's of London and was at the helm of the company for more than four years from 2014.

Mediclinic said Beale had been appointed as a member of the nomination committee of the company from March 26. – Nampa/Reuters

Luftfthansa: Short-time work for 31 000

Lufthansa has applied for short-time work for around 31 000 crew and ground staff at its core brand until the end of August, a spokesman said on Friday, as Germany's flagship carrier has slashed flights due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Short-time work is a form of state aid that allows employers to switch employees to shorter working hours during an economic downturn to keep them on the payroll. It has been widely used by industry, including Germany's car sector.

The spokesman said Lufthansa had not yet applied for state aid but was in talks with various banks and authorities about what kind of help would be possible if the airline needed it.

He said around 700 of Lufthansa's roughly 760 planes were currently grounded. – Nampa/Reuters

Nestle staff to get full salary

Nestle, the world's biggest food company, said it would pay full salaries for at least three months to employees affected by work stoppages to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The move will cover both part-time and salaried employees as well as those working in its retail operations - the Kit Kat Chocolatory and Nespresso boutiques - which have been temporarily closed in some places, the company said in a statement.

The Nescafe coffee maker, which has 291 000 employees across the world, also said it would provide cash advances or loans to those in financial difficulties, and that it had put in place generous sick leave arrangements for employees who may have contracted the virus.

Nestle said it was also partnering with Red Cross to provide the humanitarian agency with supplies and transportation, and was donating 10 million Swiss francs, food, water and medical nutrition products to those most affected by the pandemic.

A number of companies are rolling out relief measures for their employees suffering from a financial strain due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Nestle rival Unilever said on Wednesday it would pay part-time workers for up to three months and accelerate payments for small and mid-sized suppliers to provide relief during the outbreak, which has shut businesses and caused stock market turmoil globally. – Nampa/Reuters

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