PROTECTION FOR EMPLOYEES A proposal for a special dispensation for companies in distress because of Covid-19 has been put forward.This will include wage payments for employees through the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme to help companies pay employees during this period and avoid retrenchment.Employees who fall ill due to exposure in the workplace will be paid through the Compensation Fund, Ramaphosa said.He said government would provide tax subsidies of up to R500 a month for the next four months to private sector employees earning less than R6 500. This would assist over four million employees, he said.Government’s inter-ministerial committee is set to hold a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, where it’s expected that several ministers in Ramaphosa’s Cabinet will further explain the implications and details of the lockdown.Many questions have been raised since the president’s announcement, including whether the security forces are adequately prepared, how movement will be limited and whether or not people can still run or walk as a form of exercise during the lockdown.Locally, while many have applauded the president for taking this decision, other are worried about their livelihoods.Community activist Cyril Pandaram said: “I am thankful that our President has taken the decision to lock down our country and save us. It will hurt us financially in the short term but our people matter more than money.” Another resident said: “My company has put us on short time and said they will not pay us. “Where does this leave us? When we request them to use the interventions government is putting in place, we are told ‘we will see’. “While I understand and respect this decision by government, I am also very worried for myself and my family.”Some have raised questions regarding the payment of utilities during this time, which the local municipalities have yet to answer. Watch our Facebook page for updates from the respective municipalities.