In a significant blow to the company, local sweets manufacturer Richester Foods reports that a fire broke out as a result of an electrical fault at the company's head offices near Pretoria at the end of April. While the building was destroyed, the office was closed for the weekend, and no employees were injured.
Fortunately, Richester Foods managing director Dr Hussein Cassim states that damage was contained to its offices, as all doors and windows were closed, and the building featured fire-resistant roofing and walls. These prevented the blaze from spreading any further to other buildings nearby, avoiding any harm to its factory or distribution facilities.
Additionally, Richester Foods utilises a cloud-based intranet and network system, and has a robust back-up system which prevented any data losses.
“We are saddened by the loss of our office park, but the health and safety of our employees was our primary concern, and we are also relieved that our other operations were not impacted,” he notes.
“We would like to reassure all stakeholders that business will continue as usual, as we did not suffer any stock losses or damage to our production facilities, and our employees will simply work from our other facilities nearby in the interim. We remain absolutely committed to producing high quality products and to maintaining the high service standards which our clients have come to expect from us.”
Building back better
Cassim confirmed that the building and its contents were insured, and that engineers and a project management team had already visited the site to begin the process of evaluations and rebuilding.
“We have been sincerely touched by the dedication of our staff, who worked tirelessly over the weekend to help us recover any items from the fire for donation, and to ensure that the transition to our new office areas was seamless.
“We would also like to thank our clients and friends for their many messages of support and kindness over the past few days. While we are devastated by the fire, we remain determined to build back even better.”