Dear clients, colleagues and service providers
The week ahead brings a sense of anticipation as many more businesses are able to recommence operations. While this wider resumption of economic activity is to be welcomed, it is clear that this will be far from a return to “normal”, with strict hygiene and social distancing protocols being necessary to prevent an exponential spread of the virus. Business life is likely to be challenging for at least the next six months with expected increases in infection rates and further related economic impacts. South Africa is not unique in facing these challenges and we will all need to take individual and corporate responsibility in doing our part for the greater good.
We have conducted a careful assessment of what Strategic Business Support’s response to Level 3 should be. We are acutely aware of the request from our president that those who are able to work from home continue to do so. We are also aware of the risks presented by public transport, physical meetings and the impact on business continuity should an infection occur within the office. We have invested in a significant information technology upgrade over the last month and our conclusion is that most of our work can continue to be done remotely with satisfactory levels of service. There are, however, certain statutory and compliance functions that will require periodic physical access to the office. This includes the finalisation of audits to ensure that that the year-end processes are not postponed indefinitely as this will cause further pressure points later in the year.
Our office will therefore remain physically closed for the time being, but will be opened on a limited “on demand” basis for specific functions that cannot be performed remotely, such as allowing physical access to documents and records that are not in electronic format and are needed for statutory processes. Our team will continue to work remotely from home and meetings will continue to take place using videoconference platforms. Wherever possible, we will avoid the physical transfer of paper documents. We request that clients continue to engage with us on upcoming deadlines and how those requirements can best be met.
We wish to assure clients of our continued commitment to service excellence. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding in what has been an extremely difficult period. Our team has adapted well to this “new normal” and have met important statutory and reporting deadlines this month while also providing much support with Covid-19 relief measures, particularly with the TERS application process. We remain committed to working in partnership with you as we navigate these unchartered waters.
The attached article provides high level information on the level 3 regulations as is likely to have relevance to our clients.
Peter Cottrell Clive Stewart