As one of the largest employers in the Elgin Grabouw region, Two-a-Day’s Director: Human Resource, Dimitri Jacobs, is a frontline contact person for many in the community.
“Given the large numbers of people who work in the Two-a-Day Group we have largely been spared the worst of Covid-19,” Jacobs says adding that the Covid-protection protocols first put in place in March 2020 are still in place. “With the stoppage of payments from government, we are investigating allowing staff who have been off work for Covid-related issues are now able to “borrow” sick-leave days from their next sick-leave cycle where they do not have sick-leave days available in the current cycle. We are allowing staff this to make it possible for staff to earn the maximum income during this difficult time,” Jacobs says.
Other changes at Two-a-Day include the appointment of bus captains. “We have appointed a captain on each of the busses that transport staff to Two-a-Day who will hand sanitise, check temperature and ask screening questions before staff get on the bus. This is then repeated by supervisors when staff arrive at the Two-a-Day premises.”
“We have also encouraged debt consolidation and saving schemes via an easy-to-use mobile platform in conjunction with PICSA,” says Jacobs adding that updated Covid information is also available on the platform and the company can track which staff have read notices etc. One of PICSA executives, Paul Kim explains that MessagePlus is a unified communication platform that helps employers communicate with their workers over SMS, WhatsApp and soon, Telegram. “MessagePlus helped Two-a-Day share critical information with their workers during Covid-related disruptions through a simple-to-create WhatsApp infoportal. Furthermore, our unique payslip distribution service also benefitted Two-a-Day employees by allowing them to conveniently download their payslips via WhatsApp.” Kim says.
Jacobs says that the company is acutely aware of the importance of human contact and fellowship and hopes that this messaging technology will help to fill the void as a result of social distancing in all cases and near isolation in others. “We are here for our people even if it means we can’t shake hands or offer a gentle touch when one is needed the most. This tech, at the very least, means we can continue to be in touch in real time.”
Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, the largest exporter of South African apples and pears, is responsible for selling the fruit from Two-a-Day and Ceres Fruit Growers. Tru-Cape Managing Director Roelf Pienaar says that Covid has impacted every life and aspect of this business as it has done around the globe. “If there is good news,” he says, “it is that customers in South Africa and in 105 countries around the world that sell Tru-Cape apples and pears recognise the benefits of eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as a way of strengthening our immune systems. Our growers and the staff at Two-a-Day are directly linked to us all getting better and staying well.” Pienaar ends.