Cresta Group Holdings lays off employees as COVID-19 wreaks havoc

  • CGH provisionally suspends operations to July over COVID-19
  • Move meant to protect interests of stakeholders

THE outbreak of dread corona virus which has paralysed global economies has claimed its first scalp in Zimbabwe amid reports CRESTA Group Hotels (CGH) has laid off hundreds of its employees.

CGH spokesperson Chipo Mandela last week said five of its hotels will suspend operations beginning next month (April) in response to the coronavirus menace.

The decision to temporarily halt operations to beginning of July, according to Mandela, was made in the general interest of the group’s employees, clients, tourists and long term survival of the company.

“This difficult decision has been taken as a result of the current situation arising from the international COVID-19 situation, with the primary factor being the safeguarding of customers and staff, as well as their families and the community at large,” she said.

Mandela further said benefits acruable to the the temporary cessation of business of the group’s five entities in the country were expected to benefit all of the company’s stakeholders, both in the short to long term.

“The secondary objective is to allow for the longer-term survival of businesses of the group, which is essential for all stakeholders, most notably staff, customers, the travel and tourism sector in Zimbabwe and further afield and Zimbabwe as a whole,” she said.

CGH businesses in Zimbabwe include Cresta Lodge, Sango Conference Centre, Cresta Oasis Hotel and Apartments and Cresta Jameson in Harare.

In Bulawayo, CGH owns Cresta Churchill and Cresta Sprayview at Victoria Falls.

The group said although they hoped to continue their services in July this year, there was no ruling out either shortening or prolonging the period of suspension, with everything dependent on the situation prevailing on the ground.

“While planning in the current situation is difficult, it is hoped to recommence operations on July 1, 2020, subject to decisions being made either to extend or preferably to shorten the planned closure,” Mandela noted.

The CGH has appealed to stakeholders and customers to support the decisions they made concerning the company.

“The co-operation and understanding of all staff, customers, travel and tourism agents is needed and greatly appreciated,” the CGH spokesperson said.