KZN Business Chambers Council
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There have been many comments on whether the lockdown will continue after the 16th April and other issues of concerns vis a vis businesses that will not open; the potential of phenomenal job losses, and the repercussions. We anticipate that this lockdown cannot continue in the interest of our country and its people based on the state of the economy as well as the catastrophic economic impact with a longer lock down.
The 21 day lockdown was driven by the global move to manage the internal spread of the virus. This needs to be dramatically reduced to manageable levels for private and public hospitals to cope with admissions for ICU/HCU beds and ventilators. There will not be a magical halt to the infections, but the spread of infection will slow down. After the lockdown there won't be a return to normality for at least three or more months. This means that there will have to be serious restrictions which could include: 1. Curfew from 6pm to 5am 2. All businesses except essential services will close by 6pm 3. Masks will be almost compulsory when one leaves home 4. Domestic/international flights will be discouraged for a further period 5. Travel between provinces will be controlled 6. Testing will continue at a faster pace. We hope that the pin prick quick test will be available 7. Maximum numbers in gatherings probably 10 to 20 At this point government, private sectors and businesses are feeding and supporting our needy communities.
The question is: how long can this be kept up and how do we overcome the dependency that has been created? Does the private and NGO sector have the funds and capacity to continue with the feeding and support for longer than 21 days well into the next month? We need to dissect the various areas that must be considered, be it health care, social services, business support, relief coordination and more to ensure scenario planning prepares us for the next few months. We are in for a rough ride! It will be a long journey leading to possibly five tough years. Even the established financially well-off businesses will be effected since job losses and poverty means less buyers, lower sales, lower profits etc. This represents a unique and possibly once in a generation opportunity for a complete reset at all levels.
As the South African nation, we need a complete assessment of our situation in South Africa, the role we have played in the past and the role we can and should play in the future to further the cause of South African citizens. As Muslims are soon to observe the month of Ramadaan (month of fasting), the Ulema (Muslim Theologians) needs to plan for different scenarios for Ramadan in the event of restrictions to numbers in gatherings eg: database of hufaaz (religious scholars) and numerous venues to keep in line with gathering limits for taraweeh (Prayer practised by Muslims during the fasting month). It is going to take every South African to make sacrifices to SAVE SOUTH AFRICA and each one of us needs to play our part! We cannot under-estimate the impact of this crisis and we pray to the Almighty to guide us, protect us and save us.
For more information kindly email Issued on behalf of the Minara Chamber of South African


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