Enterprise Foods’ operations in Polokwane, Limpopo, are being shut down. It has permanently closed its plant, which manufactures foods such as polony and viennas.
The company which owns Enterprise, Country Bird Holdings, says it will, however, retain about 50 employees to run operations at its canning business.
The factory has struggled to recover losses incurred in 2017 when traces of listeriosis were detected at its plants in Polokwane and Germiston.
Country Bird Holdings CEO Brendon De Boer says: “it was an extremely difficult decision to close the plant and it was not made likely at all, we understand the community concerns however we did all we could to prevent the full closure of the facility and as things stand, 50 staff will be retained to continue operating our canning operations.”
The video below is a report on the listeriosis outbreak traced to the Limpopo Enterprise facility in 2018:
Hundreds of employees, affiliated to labour unions in the food processing industry, have been served with retrenchment notices.
National Union of Public Service and Allied workers (NUPSAW) Limpopo Secretary says: “It was enterprise itself that ran to the CCMA to look for a settlement for retrenchment. We even told the commissioner that we cannot afford to go to the CCMA with that type of a settlement, we even requested that we should go to the drawing table and negotiate with the employer so that we can reach a different settlement.”
A street hawker, Mokgadi Monyemoratho, says times will be tough. “It is going to be tough for us because our families and our businesses depend on enterprise products and the workers from enterprise how can they survive if they are retrenched.”
Enterprise employees stopped reporting for work at the beginning of April. Only fifty employees are on duty at the food canning plant.
It is unclear how the current situation will impact its retail store.