The national lockdown is losing support from most South Africans as they are forced to stay home, in large part due to the financial struggles it is causing.
This is according to research done by Victory Research for City Press and Rapport.
While 87% of those polled supported the initial lockdown, only 42% are in support of the extension past April.
18% of respondents said that they could not afford to go for another week in the current lockdown state.
Over half of all respondents said they cannot afford basic groceries for any longer than three weeks, while a further 23% said a month was their limit.
Additionally, a third of respondents said they are finding it “very hard” to source food and essential goods at supermarkets, while a further 24% said they were finding it “hard”.
The reduced spending power, coupled with regulations regarding what can be sold, has reflected in the performance of South African businesses.
Edcon told MyBroadband that since the president announced the lockdown on 16 March, its turnover has declined 45% year-on-year.
Its sales and cash for March were R400 million below forecast, while it expects to lose a further R800 million in turnover during the lockdown period.
Takealot CEO Kim Reid recently said that the national lockdown would cost the online retailer about R350 million.
The online store is currently only receiving about 15% of its usual sales volume, and it has had to cancel many orders for non-essential goods which were placed before the lockdown started.
Two million jobs at stake
Various economists and business leaders have warned that South Africa faces an economic crisis because of the extended and strict lockdown in the country.
Mike Schussler said the economy was already in a terrible state prior to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown.
He explained that South Africa had large deficits, widespread unemployment and inequality, poor growth, and uncertainty on land and property rights before the coronavirus crisis.
With the country’s GDP expected to contract by over 6% this year, things are set to get much worse.
Schussler predicts that up to 2 million jobs could be lost in South Africa because of the coronavirus crisis.
Ramaphosa eases lockdown
It is hoped that Ramaphosa’s easing of the country’s COVID-19 lockdown from 30 April will help both businesses and citizens financially.
It is expected that when level 4 of lockdown begins on 30 April, 1.5 million South Africans will be able to go back to work.
Businesses which will be allowed to open under level 4, according to a government infographic, include:
Wholesale and retail
Transport and logistics
Agriculture and forestry
Power and water
Food services and accommodation
Finance and business
For more detailed information regarding who within these industries will be allowed to work, click here.
The government will also be implementing the following rules for the workplace:
Employees must be screened for symptoms and have their temperatures checked.
Hand sanitizers must be used by all people entering the workplace.
Social distancing must be observed.
In Other News – Sale of tech products allowed during Level 4 Lockdown
The government will officially launch its risk-adjusted strategy to open the economy from the 1 May 2020, which includes the new 5-level alert system.
The country is currently at level 5, which means that drastic measures are required to contain the spread of the virus to save lives. continue reading