Philip Nottingham says Durban communities remain resilient and hopeful in face of floods

The CFO unpacks the impact of the KwaZulu-Natal floods on Sumitomo Rubber SA and its employees.

Businesses and communities in Durban have continued to struggle with the impact of heavy rains and subsequent flooding. As a result, the South African government has declared a national state of disaster.

Not spared from the impact, one of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa’s warehouses was heavily affected. “We are in the process of cleaning up and assessing the full extent of the impact,” says financial director Philip Nottingham.

“Our factory in Ladysmith is, thankfully, undamaged, but we do expect to see further impact from the damage to the Durban harbour in terms of our imports of raw materials and exports of finished tyres,” he adds.

However, Philip says that four of the company’s employees have lost their homes and many others have had their homes damaged. “Most of our Durban employees are still going through a lack of water and erratic electricity supply. We have supported affected employees through food donations from the company and colleagues, and have arranged accommodation for some of those who have lost their homes. We have also provided a counselling service to all affected employees.”

Philip concludes that, while KwaZulu-Natal “seems to have been through an inordinate amount of hardship in the last while, from Covid-19, to looting, and now the flooding, people remain resilient and hopeful for a better future”.