After-effects of SA lockdown will be heartbreaking for most citizens
The outbreak of the Covid-19 couldn't have come at a worst time for SA citizens. At a time whereby unemployment figures are at all-time high and municipalities are dysfunctional.
Companies are forever retrenching and big metros like the Johannesburg and Tshwane are in complete disarray.
This pandemic comes at a time were the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase. This pandemic comes at a time where SA's economy has just been downgraded to junk status.
The lockdown regulations that have been implemented by government do not seem to be in touch with the state of the country itself. The government has forced almost all businesses to close, the government has forced even the businesses that were on the brink of closing for good due to economic conditions to close and some of those businesses will close for good. The informal traders have also been forced to close shop.
The consequences of this action will be felt as people lose their jobs when this pandemic is defeated. The government, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, was complacent in taking action and only left it until it was too late to act.
People that were coming from abroad should have been quarantined the moment China reported its first case, particularly because China is among our highest trade partners.
I can understand that this will have deterred tourists from visiting the country or people wanting to do business in this country, but that was supposed to be the only sacrifice. The government's reluctance to act has sacrificed the whole economy.
This lockdown was not supposed to even happen because the fact of the matter is that we were warned, but we did not act.
The regulations put in place do not make sense at all. How can you say a minibus taxi that is certified to carry 15 passengers must carry seven passengers, are you saying those taxis must operate at a loss?
If so, why will those taxis then be motivated to pick up the so-called essential workers? There is also no clarity on those employees that are forced to stay at home due to the lock-down.
A number of employers have indicated that they won't be paying those employees. The president's pronouncement on these issues does not inspire confidence; after all, this is the same government that cannot run Eskom, SAA, Prasa and other SOEs.
The lockdown is suited to some countries, but for a country like ours prevention was far better than cure.
But our government is not a type of government that is pro-active in looking for solutions and even implementing those solutions
Hophney Leso, Sunninghill, Johannesburg
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