South Africa is a country like no other. With 48 hours left until the nationwide lockdown kicks in, celebrities like Somizi have been leading a social drive to help informal traders clear their stocks ahead of the 21-day curfew.
The informal sector may suffer from SA lockdown
Economic experts have indicated that, in these uncertain times where job losses are a reality for most, it is informal traders who will suffer the greatest loss.
This sector relies heavily on the high levels of traffic and activity on roads where their clusters are set up.
However, a decision from President Cyril Ramaphosa, in response to the rapid spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), has almost shattered the industry.
The president revealed, on Monday evening, that when the clock strikes 23:59 on Thursday 26 March, the country will go into lockdown for 21 days.
This, he said, is an effort to curb the spread of the virus and save many vulnerable lives.
“This is a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. While this measure will have a considerable impact on people’s livelihoods, on the life of our society and on our economy, the human cost of delaying this action would be far, far greater,” he said.
Watch: Somizi clears street vendor’s stock ahead of SA lockdown
Heeding the call of the president, celebrities, including Somizi, have taken the onus of ubuntu to themselves and called on the rest to follow suit in supporting street vendors.
On Tuesday, the Department of Small Business Development has reiterated the words of Ramaphosa and insisted that everyone — including the informal sector — affected by the coronavirus will be aided by the government.
A solidarity fund has been opened to address issues related to the suffrage caused by the pathogen in the informal sector and other areas of society.
Small business owners and start-ups have been asked to visit the government’s SMME website for more information on how they can lodge a fund claim to get assistance.