After the presidential speech on Sunday 15 March 2020, the lives of all South Africans changed with immediate effect. Businesses faced serious challenges overnight and, like all of you, Caxton swiftly had to implement emergency regulations to make sure operations were not affected.
Managing Director of Caxton Printers and Caxton Local Media, Jaco Koekemoer, says: “As one of the biggest publishers of newspapers in South Africa, we have an obligation to make sure we keep communities informed and educated on the virus, through our stable of local newspapers.”
Caxton and the COVID-19 coronavirus in conjunction with Caxton Local Media :
1. Implemented an editorial protocol when publishing any information on COVID-19.
2. We have devised a strict pre-publication fact-checking protocol to guide newsrooms in gathering and publishing news. Our aim is to inform and educate and to assist government in the quest to contain panic and fear.
3. Every article includes details of a hotline system where readers can complain or comment on published content.
4. A task team was formed to deal with all COVID-19 coronavirus-related content. They work closely with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and World Health Organization (WHO).
5. Journalists and sales teams are encouraged to avoid personal contact with clients and to conduct business telephonically as far as possible.
6. Our national sales team, Spark Media, have adopted the same sales strategy and is using modern technology like Skype and Zoom to communicate with key clients. Group interaction through presentations has been cancelled, but continuous engagement with all clients are still taking place.
7. Local and international staff travel has been suspended.
We are taking every possible measure to protect the health of our partners and employees while providing uninterrupted service to our clients. The current situation with regards to our manufacturing capabilities is as follows:
• Production stock levels are stable with a three- to six-month paper supply spread across warehouses.
• Printing plates, inks and other consumables are adequately stocked.
• Local newsprint continues and imported materials are procured without delay.
• Our manufacturing and production continue and we have significant print capacity back up.
• CTP’s three commercial print facilities in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town remain operational, as do Caxton Printers’ nine coldset factories. All machinery is operational and fully staffed.
• CTP factories and offices are cleaned and sanitised regularly in accordance with the regulations. We have secured adequate stock of hand sanitisers, sanitising dispensers and soap.
• Factory visits have been suspended in order to further limit excessive exposure between our employees and others.
• Limitations on all domestic and international travel have been imposed throughout the Caxton and CTP Group.
• Upon entering printing premises, staff are screened with infrared thermometers. Those with high temperatures are referred to a medical practitioner and not allowed on site.
CAXTON REGIONAL PRINTERS:
• Production stock is secured.
• In the highly unlikely event that the Johannesburg operation ceases to produce, these eight printing facilities could be used as back-up.
• Caxton Printers has heatset printing facilities in Isando, Johannesburg as well as a reciprocal backup printing arrangement with Novus.
• Caxton Printers’ Johannesburg facility is able to isolate its two factories, allowing for disinfecting the one while operating the other.
• Operations are split into four shifts, which enables the quarantine of at least two shifts if necessary.
• Deep-cleaning of ablutions has increased to a weekly basis.
• All supplier and outside visits have been cancelled. Instead, conference-call facilities are used. Local and international staff travels have been suspended.
• A rigid awareness campaign was launched to inform staff about the COVID-19 coronavirus.
• Outsourced and external contractors do the bulk of Caxton’s distribution.
• Contractors have been briefed and trained on the risks of exposure and their duty to assist in preventing the spreading of the virus.
• Informative posters have been placed in the trucks supplied to external contractors. Hand sanitisers are being provided.
• Contractors entering the distribution premises undergo the same preventative precautions implemented at other Caxton facilities.
On behalf of SPARK MEDIA, we wish all our clients and suppliers strength and good health through this trying period.