One in five SA businesses have laid off staff due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the results of a new Statistics SA business impact survey.
The survey was based on the responses of 707 business across all sectors of the SA economy.
This comes as SA enters the 25th day of a nationwide lockdown, with only enterprises deemed essential - such as pharmacies and food retailers - able to continue operations.
While 20% of responding businesses reported layoffs "in the short term", just under a third said they had reduced staff working hours.
Some 85% of businesses reported a decrease in turnover, while 75% said they expected the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to be worse than the 2008 global financial crisis.
In the wake of the 2008 crisis, SA's GDP fell by 1.5% in 2009 before rebounding by 3% in 2010. The impact of the crisis caused by the virus is predicted to be far more severe, with expectations from the South African Reserve Bank of a 6.1% contraction in the economy this year.