Given the uncertainty as to the duration and the extent of the impact that COVID-19 would have, the board resolved to defer payment of the 2019 dividend declared to preserve the company’s liquidity. These deferrals were announced to the market in March and August.
In September the board again considered the company’s solvency and liquidity position. While the company’s financial position remained relatively strong throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, payment of the 2019 dividend at that stage was considered to imperil the solvency and liquidity of the company in the context of the uncertainty that existed in respect of the economic outlook for the South African and global economies, especially in light of the likelihood of a second wave in COVID-19 infection in South Africa as was experienced in most European countries. Accordingly, the board resolved to cancel the 2019 dividend with effect from 29 September 2020.