SOUTH AFRICA (News release) - The unfortunate incidents of civil unrest, violence and criminal activity which are being widely reported through news channels are also impacting Sappi's South African operations.
Our primary concern is for the safety of our staff and contractors. Therefore, and as a precaution due to transport disruptions impacting raw material supplies, warehousing and customer deliveries, the Sappi Saiccor, Tugela and Stanger Mills in KwaZulu-Natal temporarily ceased production as of Monday 12 July. They will resume once it is safe and practical to do so. Work on the nearly completed Saiccor expansion and upgrade project was suspended as of Friday 9 July. Sappi's forestry operations are being reviewed on a daily basis.
There has been no material damage to any of the plants. Insurance is in place for all assets. Global shipments to customers through the Port of Durban have also been impacted due to limitations in service, logistics and closure of warehouse service providers.
"Sappi is deeply saddened by the events unfolding in South Africa and our condolences go out to the families of those in various communities who have lost loved ones. We deplore the criminal behaviour we are confronted with, which cannot be justified or excused. We have joined organised business in calling on the government to restore law and order", said Steve Binnie Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Limited.
Sappi will update shareholders once there is any material change in the situation.