‘You cannot expect people to carry on like this’: Organisation calls for lockdown to end

An organisation which says it represents more than 4,000 businesses has called on the government to call off the lockdown which has left many with no means of putting food on the table.
Image: 123RF/ LEON SWART

An organisation claiming to represent thousands of businesses has called on the government to call off the lockdown

An organisation claiming to represent thousands of businesses has called on the government to call off the lockdown, which it says has left many with no means of putting food on the table.

The group “End Lockdown SA” made the call on Sunday in an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa and members of his executive, among others. They argued that the lockdown has impacted negatively on their ability to make an income since it was imposed nearly 110 days ago.

“Many of us are self-employed and, like myself, in the event industry, our industry has not had an income since March 2020. That’s almost four months now with no income. For how long can we go on like this?” asked Clinton William-Barrat.

He said it did not make sense to open some sections of the economy and not others.

“Casinos, sit-down restaurants and hairdressers, and most of SA economy, is open except gyms and the event industry and bars and pubs, etc,” he said.

He argued that every job is essential to the person who relies on that income to feed their family.

While the government had made available a R350 distress grant for those unemployed, William-Barrat said this was not enough.

“We must pay rent and buy food. Do you really think we can live on the R350 a month? So many of our members WhatsApp me each day and say how they struggling … to receive [the grant] or they were declined for no reason. And then members [are] also struggling with UIF.

“You cannot expect people to carry on like this …” he said.

By Nonkululeko Njilo – TimesLIVE

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