Thank you for all your efforts in the past week following our call to action. Your response has been remarkable, and I applaud you.
We are very proud of the way our President is leading the country and specifically in our efforts to collectively fight this virus which is attacking all of us throughout the world. For his leadership and the many South Africans who have been guiding and supporting him in arriving at his decisions, we will be eternally indebted.
With the number of people affected by COVID-19 in South Africa now exceeding 500 and given the projected rate of infections, the lockdown announced by President Ramaphosa last night is necessary and welcomed.
As we have never experienced this before it will be an unsettling time for many. All Grindrod employees should take comfort in knowing that Grindrod will stand by its values that have successfully guided us all these years. As unsettling as it is, we must follow the guidance set out by the President and if we follow the guidance of our management teams and stand firm, the virus will be defeated, and we will come through stronger.
The business CEOs have been working late into the night and again this morning to ensure each business has a tailored plan to meet the President's requirements of maintaining logistics in place for critical services and locking down unnecessary movement in the country. These plans are being communicated and implemented and will be refined over the coming days as more guidance is received from our Government.
It is important that we remain calm during this time and I ask that we all focus our attention on the successful implementation of the plans. Your contribution has never been more important to Grindrod and South Africa than at this time.