A little over a year ago we received the news that South Africa would go into a “hard lockdown” to prevent and limit the spread of the deadly COVID-19 Corona virus. Up to that point, most of us could not understand what a “hard lockdown” meant or realise how it would affect our daily lives. Since then, South Africans have shown remarkable resilience in adapting to our changed environment in our social and professional lives.
The pandemic resulted in a severe cooling off of the world economy and, in the process, thousands of people worldwide either lost their jobs or saw them and their businesses curtailed. Multotec Services saw our mining industry customers running at very low production levels and felt their pain, as low mining production levels resulted in reduced levels of activity across our branches.
Most of the major world economies responded to the economic decline by introducing stimulus packages to revive their economies. These inputs resulted in an increased demand for raw materials across the globe.
The effect on our mining industry was immediate, and we have seen a marked increase in production levels linked to increased commodity prices on the back of the strong demand. Multotec Services is almost back to 2019 activity levels in just about all of our operations, and there are signs that mines that have been mothballed or made dormant could become operational in the near future. This bodes well for the South African economy and the all-important aspect of job creation.
Multotec Services employees travel a lot during the execution of their daily tasks and were subjected to potential infection daily. We were blessed that only a very small percentage tested positive for the virus, and none of our employees lost their lives. Those who contracted the virus recovered well and are all back in the saddle again.
Our outlook for the remainder of the year is positive from a business point of view, for which we are very grateful. However, complacency is a dangerous animal. With constant warnings of more outbreaks and different strains of the virus a real possibility, I urge everyone out there to stay vigilant and observe our mitigation protocols at all times. It is essential that we do so, even when there is a general sense that the pandemic is subsiding.
With the positive outlook for the rest of 2021, let stay safe and ensure that we make the best of the prospects ahead of us!