Stone Cradle employees receive payment

Photo: Kristian Meijer

Permanent employees at the ill-fated Stone Cradle – that burnt down shortly before the festive season – have all received their salaries despite earlier fears they might face a bleak Christmas without any money.

However, some customers who had paid deposits for functions and bookings at the popular venue, were still waiting for refunds.

“We were informed by the insurance company that their findings would be known by latest Friday this week. All outstanding commitments will then be met,” said Stone Cradle owner Kevin Coetzee.

“Unfortunately it took a bit longer than expected to meet all our commitments due to the festive season and leave taken by the relevant decision makers,” he told Rekord on Tuesday.

According to Coetzee, the only staff still waiting for some payments were the non-permanent waiting staff, who must still receive gratuity payments (tips). But, Coetzee explained, the tips were on accounts not yet paid by customers.

During early December, Rekord had received calls from several staff members who were permanently employed by the upmarket venue who expressed concern that they may not be paid.

At the time, Coetzee said they had been fully aware of the difficult and uncertain position of staff.

“Unfortunately we are all in the same position. We had information sessions to brief all involved and have communication structures in place,” he said.

“We believe we got adequate insurance cover in place to cover all concerned and we are respectfully waiting for the insurers to conduct their investigation.

“A loss of this magnitude and complexity must be thoroughly investigated and quantified by the insurers and their role players to avoid prejudicing the interests of all parties concerned,” Coetzee said.

He appealed to all parties to exercise a modicum of patience and allow the insurers to finalise the process accordingly.

“We have been working nonstop since the fire to assist the insurers and investigators and to wrap up the logistical and administrative challenges we have been left with after the fire.”

Coetzee undertook to keep all concerned informed about new developments.

“Stone Cradle wants to thank the public for their patience and understanding. We understand there is a lot of emotion and uncertainty after the disastrous fire. It unfortunately happened at the worst time imaginable. I can assure you we are doing everything in our ability to normalise the situation as quickly as possible,” he said.

Stone Cradle, situated near the Rievlei dam, was razed to the ground on 1 November 2015 by a devastating fire, leaving several clients in the lurch who had booked among others, year-end functions.

To date the exact cause of the fire at the massive thatch roof complex had not been made public.

Also read: 

Stone Cradle burns to the ground

Stone Cradle now home to a feral cat colony

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Stephané Bothma

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