RFG Holdings – Timeline Of Covid-19 Related Events
World Health Organisation declares COVID-19 a global pandemic.
RFG issues groupwide communique to all operations outlining detailed precautionary measures
to be taken against the spread of Covid in the workplace and to keep employees safe.
Declaration of a national state of disaster by the State President.
RFG constitutes a Group Covid Task Team to mitigate against the risk of the spread of Covid in
the workplace and to manage any Covid related incidents.
RFG implements a mitigation protocol and checklist for all sites to prevent the spread of Covid
and keep employees safe.
National lockdown commences. RFG issued with a CIPC certificate to conduct essential services
as a food manufacturer during the lockdown.
The Chief Inspector from the Department of Employment and Labour (“DOL”), Western Cape,
inspects RFG’s Tulbagh site and approves the Covid mitigation measures in place.
The first Covid related death reported in the town of Tulbagh. RFG isolates any employees who
were classified as close contacts of the deceased.
RFG launches an employee assistance fund through donations by directors and management to
assist employees not able to work during the lockdown due to plant closures (refer to
announcement dated 23 April on RFG website news).
RFG head office management meets with Department of Health (“DOH”) inspector to review
internal Covid protocols.
RFG Tulbagh management team meets with the DOH to discuss mitigation protocols and
prevalence of Covid in the Witzenberg municipal district.
First positive Covid incident relating to the Tulbagh factory. A third-party technician based on
site was confirmed as Covid positive. RFG notified the DOH and DOL.
First positive Covid case of an RFG Tulbagh employee. The employee had last been on site on 8
April. RFG informs DOL and DOH and conducts screening of employees and deep cleaning of
Chief Inspector of DOL, Western Cape, confirms to RFG Tulbagh General Manager that there is
no legal requirement for third-party cleaning following Covid incidents and requests copies of
RFG’s cleaning protocols and proof of cleaning which were sent on 24 April.
RFG introduces enhanced screening by a third-party NGO, NORSA, recommended by the DOH.
As a result of the screening process a number of employees sent for Covid testing.
Second positive employee case confirmed from community screening. Employee had last been on site on 21 April.
A second positive case of a third-party technician confirmed. He was in isolation at the time. RFG was informed by the DOH and RFG in turn informs DOL.
Three further positive cases confirmed. Their last working days had been 22, 23 and 29 April. Two of the cases were detected from internal screening and one from community screening. RFG followed its incident management protocol.
An employee who had been tested positive but had not shown symptoms of the virus for a period of 14 days returned to site. The employee was sent home until she could produce a negative test result, as per the DOL directive.
RFG receives confirmation of the death of two employees. Neither were confirmed as Covid related cases. One of the employees had last worked on 5 February and had resigned due to non-Covid related health issues.
RFG receives confirmation of the death of a third employee. The cause of death has not been confirmed but unconfirmed reports are that it was due to a heart attack.
RFG receives test results conducted during the week of 27 April, with 14 negative and 4 positive results.
One of the four Covid positive employees referred to above, who had been in isolation following testing positive, returned to work despite having been instructed to the contrary. RFG sent the employee home, screened all close contacts and closed production. Deep cleaning was conducted by both RFG and a third-party. Following the cleaning RFG commenced certain operations with a greatly reduced staff complement.
RFG receives confirmation from Cape Winelands environmental health practitioner that its internal cleaning protocols meet Covid requirements.
The DOL visits the site to investigate the matter of the returning employee mentioned above. It was decided that the plant would be closed completely and a further deep clean carried out by a third-party before operations can re-commence.
Deep clean of the factory undertaken by third-party service provider.
DOL approves reopening of the factory and confirms that RFG’s internal cleaning protocol meets DOL requirements and that it is therefore not necessary to use an external cleaning company in the event of a positive Covid-19 case in the factory.
Factory reopens with operations being resumed on a phased basis to protect employees and provide a safe working environment.
Summary of Covid-19 situation at Tulbagh facility:
Number of current employees – 1 440
Employee attendance at Covid information sessions – 1 071
Employees screened on site – 727
Number of employees sent for testing – 32
Number of positive cases for employees – 9
Number of positive cases for third-party technicians – 2
Number of deaths – 3 (none of which have yet been confirmed as Covid related)