When the embattled Ster-Kinekor cinema chain last weekend requested an extension for the publication of its business rescue plan, it had to use verbal gymnastics to imply a recovery that may not arrive.

The application came three months after the company entered voluntary business rescue, but the moment the business crashed can be placed precisely: when President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster on March 15 2020, and banned gatherings of more than 100 people to slow the spread of the coronavirus...

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