Justice Baloyi at his stall.
The term “business as usual” does not currently apply for stall owners and people who own bakkies for hire in Kruger street in Louis Trichardt’s CBD. The drastic measures instituted by the government to curb the Covid-19 disease has already had devastating effects on their livelihood.
Following Monday’s announcement of a total lockdown, the informal sector noted that fewer people are visiting their businesses.
Speaking to Limpopo Mirror, Rudzani Ramufhi, who owns a bakkie for hire, said: “I am really in trouble as from Monday. I come here every day, but on average per day I only get R250, which is half of what I used to get when business was running well. I use the R250 for fuel and food. There is nothing I can do because this is my only way of putting food on the table. I drive here every day, anticipating that I may get more customers.”
Ramufhi lives in Sinthumule, some 15 km from Louis Trichardt. He feels the president should have made a temporary provision for small businesses like his. “Yes, this has been declared a national state of disaster, but the president should have made a provision of R2 000 for the days people’s movement is restricted. The president, ministers and member of parliament are paid for these days, so what about us in such industries? How do we then put food on the table?” asked Ramufhi.
Justice Baloyi from Tshikota township, a couple of kilometres away from town, said that, as from Monday, most of his regular customers were not visiting his stall for food. “In all the years that I have been selling pap and beef, this is my worst period. On average per day, when it is business as usual, I take home R800, but as from Monday, business has gone down to R500. Not many people are coming to town and this has affected me very much,” said Baloyi.
Vincent Ramasla, a taxi rank marshal, said even though business was down, they were more worried about not being able to get protective clothing.
On Monday night, President Ramaphosa said that a safety net was being developed to support persons in the informal sector and details would be communicated during the lockdown period.
Date:28 March 2020 - By: Bernard Chiguvare
Bernard Chiguvare is a Zimbabwean-born journalist. He writes mainly for the online publication, Groundup.