The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it is happy with the provincial government’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve. However, the chamber has raised concerns about the negative impact of the prolonged lockdown on local businesses.
As South Africa celebrates Women’s Month, a group of women small business owners from Phillipi in Cape Town, say they are facing financial ruin.
In the video below, business owners say they are struggling to stay afloat:
Lockdown has had a devastating impact on their businesses and they say various attempts to obtain help from the COVID-19 Relief Fund have been in vain.
They are also now facing evictions from shopping malls where they are trading from due to their inability to pay rent.
President of Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Geoff Jacobs, says they are concerned.
“No business should face closure if they have a way forward but were not given some relief causing their demise. That’s not acceptable. We appropriate that commercial and lord had to bear the brunt of the change but we reiterate, it’s about being reasonable and innovative.”
Earlier, Premier Alan Winde said even with the slowing down of coronavirus infections in the province the economy continues to suffer. He noted small businesses’ challenges.
Winde said if the lockdown regulations are not relaxed further and a ban on the sale of alcohol lifted, many more will have to close.
According to him, nearly 200 000 people from vulnerable communities will no longer have an income to put food on the table. “We have flattened the curve sufficiently that we will support the opening of the economy safely. Each and every one of those businesses need to operate under a new normal but our capacity is now in place sufficiently to allow economic growth and job creation.”