Teleflorist, which allows customers to send flowers across South Africa, has been dealt a severe blow, TechFinancials has reliably learned.
The online flower company is shutting down, sources have informed TechFinancials on Wednesday.
“The company is under liquidation and has failed to informed its florists’ members that it is closing down,” a source told TechFinancials.
TechFinancials was unable to reach Teleflorist for comment as their website was down and customer care phones were off.
The phone of Hugo DeKlerk, the owner of Teleflorist, was also off.
Teleflorist, which is s an online marketplace that connects people looking to buy fresh flowers, has hundreds of florists in South Africa and the rest of Africa. It can deliver almost any address in South Africa, as well as to over 140 countries.
The company competes with Netflorist and Bloomable, once known as SA Florist.
We contacted several florists who are members of Teleflorist to test the liquidation rumours.
These were their responses.
“I am not surprised that they’ve gone under with their attitude,” one of the angry florists, who didn’t want to be named, told TechFinancials on Wednesday.
Another florist said: “We haven’t been paid for months and Teleflorist has failed to inform us that they are being liquidated. It’s sad because we were still expecting to be paid for those other months they didn’t honour their contract. We are left with no capital to continue our work this festive. We are just getting a few direct sales from our shops.”
By the look of things, some customers still believe that Teleflorist is in business.
“Many flower shops have not been notified by Teleflorist that they’re being liquidated. Some of them are owed a lot of money and this liquidation will destroy several jobs.”
It is believed that the current South African owners of Teleflorist bought the local business from its international owners.
“Since they bought the license from the UK-based company things started going bad for us as florists.”
In what is seen as a major step to protect small, micro, medium and co-operative enterprises (SMMEs) from bullying by big businesses, non-payment of goods and services, predatory, exploitative practices and anticompetitive practice, South African lawmakers are drafting a new law to police big business.
The Department of Small Business Development has already begun with this process.
The new or revised bill is due to be tabled to Parliament during the next financial year, 2020/21.
The new legislation is likely to be similar to the Competition Act or National Credit Act, which made provisions for the creation of hard-hitting institutions like the Competition Commission and the National Credit Regulator.
An alternative recommendation was to review the National Small Enterprise Act and make provision for i.e. Small Enterprise Committee and Tribunal, or, National Small Enterprise Commission and Tribunal. – firstname.lastname@example.org