On 9 April 2020, the National Coronavirus Command Council and the President made the decision to extend the nation-wide lockdown. The lockdown commenced at midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020, and was originally due to end on 16 April – it has now been extended to the end of April 2020. Given this development, Ashburton Investments continues to implement the necessary business resilience processes to ensure the continued provision of essential investment services in line with the directive from the President, and to mitigate the risk of spread of COVID-19.
The situation remains fluid and we will continue to adapt our processes to minimise the impact on operations, and we are dedicating significant resources to prioritise:
- the health and safety of our employees, clients that visit our offices and any other visitors to our premises; and
- our ability to continue an uninterrupted service to our clients in the markets where we operate.
Ashburton Investments endeavours to remain operational during the lockdown and continue to provide customers with essential investment services. This we believe can mitigate, to some degree, the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on South Africa’s economy and its citizens.
In addition to activating our business resilience processes in the context of both the pandemic and the lockdown, we have implemented several measures to the ensure the resilience of our operations and to limit any impact on our services. Measures taken include:
- All essential services have been defined, together with functional support and relevant risk management
- Critical employees required to ensure provision of these services have been identified and necessary arrangements have been put in place to facilitate working from home during the lockdown as far as possible
- Where critical employees are unable to work from home to enable the provision of essential investment services, measures have been taken to facilitate social distancing and heightened hygiene protocols on premises
- Given the lack of personal mobility enforced by the lockdown, we are proactively encouraging our customers to utilise our digital channels, and we are increasing our engagement with customers through virtual means where possible
- Ashburton Investments acknowledges that it operates within a much broader ecosystem and that to keep our services running many other participants in the ecosystem would have to be operational. We continue to engage with key suppliers to assess their ability to continue meeting their commitments to Ashburton Investments
- Business travel has been restricted for all employees across all territories
- We maintain increased frequency of cleaning our premises and, where relevant, our respective environments undergo deep-cleaning
- Implementation of precautionary measures, including but not limited to, temperature scanning, visitor screening, social distancing and hand sanitizers in our premises
- Reinforcement of increased hygiene practices in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) and local government advice and directives
- Increased communication on COVID-19 (including our approach to managing the associated risks) and the provision of related information for our employees
- We have adopted all available technology (such as video and audio-conferencing tools) to conduct all meetings virtually
Ashburton Investments is committed to maintaining its business operations and we are continuously reviewing the way we respond to COVID-19.