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Welcome relief to assist companies during Covid -19 fallout

27 March 2020 Author :  

Over the past few weeks, it has become clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has become more than just a black swan event. Covid-19 has introduced a lot of risk into the market which will fundamentally change business models.

This is a time of major adjustment, and it is welcoming to see that there is relief for business owners – and consumers - who will be hardest hit by the pandemic.

A holiday most of us need
According to a media statement, Nedbank is offering a payment holiday to some of its more vulnerable clients. This comes off the back of Standard Bank offering a similar holiday to its clients in an effort to help them restructure their debt and to address their cashflow problems.

In the media statement, Nedbank said that clients will be able to halt debt repayments (or part thereof) for a suitable period. Alternatively, their loan periods may be extended, or they could get more credit to manage short term cashflow shortfalls.

“We are committed to supporting our clients during this time of uncertainty and have a number of solutions available to assist clients in good standing who are impacted by this pandemic,” the bank said in a statement.

Clients are encouraged to contact the bank telephonically to find out more about this offer.

A vulnerable industry
The hospitality industry has been particularly hardest hit by COVID-19. Hotels, game lodges and restaurants will all see decreased traffic which will most likely persist long after the pandemic has passed, and calm has been restored.

Insurance is one of the biggest payments that any hospitality company needs to make. In an effort to offer relief, Bryte Insurance has offered its hospitality clients a three-month premium holiday.

“Approaching risk with purpose is a fundamental of our business. We are thus deeply committed to protecting our customers, partners and employees to ensure the sustainability of livelihoods,” Lana Mizen, Head of Hospitality at Bryte Insurance said in a statement to the media.

She added that the relief is aimed at offering support to the hospitality industry which is a key driver of the economy.

 “We also recognise the industry’s tremendous role in reinvigorating the economy once, as united South Africans, we have defeated the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Mizen.

Hospitality customers are encouraged to talk to their brokers to discuss the offering in more detail.

More opportunities
The Turnaround Management Institute of Southern Africa (TMA-SA) has been outspoken that business turnaround practitioners need to see the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity rather than a risk. The above relief is another example of this.

Debt restructuring is a delicate balancing act which requires a lot of sacrifice and an objective voice of reason. Business turnaround practitioners need to engage with clients and see how they can offer assistance beyond the crisis management stage that many clients are presently finding themselves in.

Further, business models will fundamentally change. Particularly in the hospitality industry. Like Eskom, the hospitality industry is to big to fail and business turnaround practitioners will play a key role in the future sustainability of this industry. View the payment holiday that insurers are offering clients as a key opportunity to step up and assist hospitality companies readjust their cashflow and restructure their debt.

Ke Nako…it is time. YOUR TIME!

Bruce Berry CEO TMA-SA


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