Edcon CEO Grant Pattison on a conference call to suppliers this morning broke down, telling them Edcon only has sufficient liquidity to pay salaries but is "unable to honour any other accounts during this period".
Pattison said when the country goes into lockdown, Edcon will be about R400m below predicted sales and cash for the month.
He said Edcon is prioritising paying salaries to staff.
He did tell suppliers that they would next week turn their attention to building a re-opening plan.
"We will be heavily dependent on business support packages offered by government and other agencies and funders.
"Management will continue to look at all options – and there may be some really tough recommendations to be made to the board after the lock-down period, including having to consider Business Rescue.''
Towards the end of the call, Pattison begins to sob.
The Money's Show's bruce Whitfield called the call the most difficult thing a company chief can ever do, and also broke down after the audio clip, having to go off air for a brief moment.
Listen to the entire emotional sound clip below.
The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield also broke down and had to take a minute off air.
"That's how serious this is...
"Edcon is the first..."
Listen below to Bruce's emotional and moving reaction to Grant Pattison's sad news:
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