Hertz says local operations not affected by US business filing for bankruptcy protection

Hertz car rental in southern African says its operations won't be affected after Hertz in the US filed for bankruptcy protection.

The US operations of the car rental firm filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday as the economic impact of travel restrictions caused demand for car hire to plummet. The process involves the company’s US and Canadian subsidiaries. 

The group's southern Africa office says it is part of CFAO Motors, and will continue to operate in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana as it is run independently. 

"We will continue to operate and rent vehicle given the lockdown restrictions, and assist our customers as and where we can," it said in a statement.

Like in many other parts of the world, the local car rental market has taken a knock from the national lockdown which started in late March. National borders remain closed under current restrictions, with international and domestic passenger air travel prohibited. Some domestic air travel for business will be allowed under Level 3 of the lockdown, but details have not yet been announced. Interprovincial road travel prohibited, with a few exceptions. 

Car rental companies largely rely on tourism and business travel, and operators in SA have only allowed to rent cars to essential service providers during the lockdown. Government has began a phased return to economic activity which has seen a number of sectors allowed to operate under strict regulations.

It is not yet known when the car rental business could be fully operational. 

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