TFG on the road to recovery after civil unrest, says CFO Bongi Ntuli

Bongi says that TFG will start to rebuild and restock their stores that were affected by the recent civil unrest.

TFG has announced that it will start the process of rebuilding and restocking its stores that were affected by looting and rioting during the recent civil unrest in South Africa.

CFO Bongi Ntuli says that the timeline to reopen these stores will be short in some locations, while in other locations it will be dependent on the nature and extent of the damage and on the availability of the relevant resources and supply chains.

“We are saddened by the recent unfortunate civil unrest and widespread looting and vandalism in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, which have not only impacted our operations and customers, but also our employees, their families, and the supply chains that support the stores in those regions,” she says. “TFG, to date, has thankfully recorded no fatalities as a result of these events.”

At the beginning of July, the retail group had approximately 3,000 stores in Africa, with plans to open another 200 stores by the end of 2022. To date, approximately 190 South African TFG stores have been looted and damaged to varying degrees. A distribution centre operated by one of the group’s logistics service providers, as well as the manufacturing premises of one of its local suppliers have also been damaged by fires that were started during the unrest.

Bongi explains that all TFG’s KwaZulu-Natal stores are currently not trading due to safety concerns. “The situation remains uncertain, although there are encouraging signs of some parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng having settled.”

She adds that the group’s immediate priority remains the wellbeing and safety of its employees, customers, assets and supply chain partners. “Trade continues as normal in the rest of the group’s South African and African regions supported by strong supply chains. This includes the group’s own manufacturing capacity, which remains largely unaffected, which is encouraging.”

The group also has a diverse international footprint which continues to trade strongly.

“We are grateful to our security teams, our employees and supply chain partners who have worked tirelessly with local law enforcement, unions, property managers and other relevant parties to minimise further damage and losses,” Bongi says.

She adds that TFG remains committed to supporting the government in the rebuilding and progressing of all the initiatives aimed at improving the lives of South African people and that the group remains steadfastly committed to promoting local job creation and upskilling of the country’s people.

“This Mandela Day, our teams joined together in solidarity by deploying food and essential items to affected areas and assisting employees that are at risk,” Bongi says. “We will continue to work together with other retailers, our suppliers, manufacturers and employees to build a better South Africa.”