As we look back on the week our country has been through, it is easy to get lost in the immediate devastation. However, what the last ten days have once again demonstrated to me is the power of hope. Hope for better, hope for more, hope in the potential of our country. We have all seen the images of ordinary South Africans stepping up and stepping in, cleaning up the streets, rebuilding lives, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with others, united in their diversity. Offering hope.
It demonstrated to me again that as South Africans we have unrelenting resilience, an unbreakable commitment to be better, and an unwavering love for our country. We share in each other’s losses, we grieve with one another, and we offer our hands to lift others up, to work together to rebuild what we have lost.
At Woolies, throughout this time the safety of our people and our customers has remained our highest priority. I would like to sincerely thank our teams in KZN and Gauteng for the incredible strength and courage they have shown these last two weeks. I have heard and seen so many stories demonstrating our people‘s commitment to protecting our business, their colleagues and our customers. I am so deeply humbled by the continued resilience of our teams who have not only had to continue to work through the impact of the Covid19 pandemic, but now also have to work through the challenges presented over the last week. The last 18 months have truly demonstrated the resilience of our business, fuelled by the passion and commitment of our people.
We would also like to express our gratitude to our security teams, suppliers and partners as well as the law enforcement personnel, health care workers, social workers, security guards, and many others who have remained at their posts under difficult and dangerous conditions.
And a very special thank you to you, all our customers, for your understanding and continued support as we navigate our way through these challenges.
Over this time many of us have experienced loss. Some have lost everything. And still we stand. Resolutely focussed on uniting our country. We will do our part to ensure that we move our country forward, supporting our people, our communities and our customers.
We are so much more powerful together. And together we will make a difference.
By Zyda Rylands – Woolworths SA: Chief Executive Officer