Over 2 Million Jobs Lost During Covid-19 Pandemic

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The unemployment stats released by Statistic South Africa paints a grim picture. More than 2 million people have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation faced by South Africans is made worse by the rising cost of living, increasing inflation rate and rising petrol prices.


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The unemployment stats released by Statistic South Africa paints a grim picture. More than 2 million people have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation faced by South Africans is made worse by the rising cost of living, increasing inflation rate and rising petrol prices.
Kganki Matabane, Chief Executive Officer at the Black Business Council, says that Covid-19 has made a bad situation worse. He says that businesses were struggling before than pandemic and recent developments in the country have compounded the struggles of businesses.
Matabane explained that the recent looting in Johannesburg and Gauteng has caused further destruction to the economy and Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s). He says that many of the small businesses that operate in malls that were looted, will not be able to resume business until malls reopen. Some malls will only be able to reopen in a years time.
Matabane said that the government's R200 Billion in loan guarantee scheme did not work. He says that when businesses don’t have income, they don’t need more loans as they would need to pay back.
National Tresuary announced the R200 billion in loan guarantee scheme in April 2020. The hope was that these loans would help small businesses recover from the impact of the pandemic and restart operations.
At the end of March 2021, only R18.16-billion in loans were given to small and medium-sized businesses. This accounted for less than 10% of Treasury’s target.
Matabane warns that the longer it takes to reopen the economy, the worse the situation will become. He believes in the current climate where small businesses are trying to survive, they are unlikely to have a big impact on job creation. He said, “a lot of companies are just trying to survive, so when you are trying to survive you can you can't expand”.
According to StatsSA, the current unemployment rate in South Africa is 34.4%. Women were more affected by unemployment as 36.8% of women were unemployed. This is 4.4 percentage points higher than males who had an unemployment rate of 32.4%. StatsSA found that black women were most affected with an unemployment rate of 41%.

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