Liberty’s trading update on Monday shows how quickly things get derailed. The company announced the establishment of a R3bn reserve fund designed to help it meet all costs and losses associated with the pandemic. It will have a severe effect on its financial performance for the half-year to June, leading to a swing from healthy profits for the same period a year ago into losses of R2bn-R2.4bn.

The reserve fund is earmarked to meet increased insurance claims resulting from death and illness due to the pandemic, as well as loss of revenue associated with the economic fallout from Covid-19 leading to client failure  to pay premiums after losing jobs and income...

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