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COVID-19 free areas should resume full-scale economic activity: Gift of the Givers

22 May 2020, 10:41 AM  |  SABC  | 
Imtiaz Sooliman

Gift of the Givers Founder, Imtiaz Sooliman, says areas and provinces that are considerably free of COVID-19 should resume full-scale economic activity, but only once it has been deemed safe to do so.

President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated that most of the country will move to alert level 3 lockdown before the end of May while some areas with a high number of infections may remain on a higher level.

Sooliman says many households are not coping financially with the loss of income due to the nationwide lockdown.

“With the lockdown, a lot of people have started losing their jobs, gender based violence increased because a lot of people are at home. Those suffering from alcohol, drugs and smoke withdrawal – there’s anger, there’s mood changes and a whole class of people started suffering because the focus was only on one idea on dealing with the coronavirus.”

“And in that process, also hunger started increasing. A large portion of people besides the unemployed who were already there before COVID-19 were joined by a new category of people. We now have a middle class that’s dependent on food parcels and therefore we have to look [at whether] are we doing the right thing now,” adds Sooliman.

Meanwhile, Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela says Bloemfontein will remain on alert level-4 as it is the epicentre of the outbreak in the province.

In the video below, Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela outlines the province’s latest COVID-19 developments:

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the province will be on an assessment drive, checking the readiness of businesses as some parts of the country will move to level 3 of the lockdown in June.

In the video below, the Provincial Command Council gives update on COVID-19 in Gauteng

 

COVID-19 pandemic results in more job losses

More South Africans have lost their jobs and income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is according to a survey by Stats SA called Wave 2 that looked into the impact of COVID-19 on employment, income and hunger.

The survey revealed that 8,1% of respondents lost their jobs or had to close businesses so far, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the report, almost 9 in 10 respondents who were employed before the national lockdown remained employed during the lockdown.

It further found a decrease in the proportion of respondents who usually derive their income from salaries and wages, as well as from own business during the lockdown.

It shows people are turning to their savings and borrowing to make end meets.

The results indicated an increase in the proportion of those who derived their incomes from savings and investments.

There is also an increase in those that get loans from friends, family and businesses as well as claims from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

The survey further indicated that about a quarter of respondents reported that their income decreased during the national lockdown.

Over half of the respondents say their income had stayed the same.

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