Edcon CEO in tears as he fails to pay suppliers

Johannesburg – The 21 days national lockdown has a lot of people working from home on Friday, but sadly other find themselves in difficult positions faced with the high possibility of not receiving their salaries during the lockdown.

There was a lot of uncertainty about how things will look after three weeks have passed, as many closed their doors on Thursday.

Grant Pattison, CEO of Edcon, had a challenging conference call with his suppliers on Thursday to explain that they could not pay them, stating that the company would prioritise salaries.

“We are not giving up, we will work closely with government and funders to find a way to continue trading after the lockdown has ended. Our problems just highlight the challenge of necessarily pushing pause on the economy, knowing you will have to restart it when it’s safe again,” said Pattison.

He added that when the country went into lockdown, the company would be about R400 million below predicted sales and cash for the month. He explained to suppliers that they would turn their attention to building a re-opening plan next week.

“We will be heavily dependent on business support packages offered by government and other agencies and funders. Management will continue to look at all options and there may be some really tough recommendations to be made to the board after the lockdown period, including having to consider business rescue.”

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