Lockdown | SMME owners and employees fear Level 5 will be reintroduced

Afri-Tech affected by Level 5 lockdown
Afri-Tech affected by Level 5 lockdown
Ntwaagae Seleka, News24

Fears that the government will introduce more stringent regulations or reintroduce the Level 5 lockdown are mounting, according to some small business owners and employees.  

LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

There is also a concern that even though restrictions have been relaxed under Level 4 of the national lockdown, there may be job cuts because business has not resumed as expected.

Jaco Naudé who owns a small aluminium factory in Krugersdorp, is among many affected business owners because he has had to temporarily close shop.

Naudé permanently employs four workers.

It was tough and we are grateful for the introduction of Level 4. We had pinned our hopes on government to ease the regulations. However, due to some people who don't adhere to regulations, we might find ourselves back to Level 5 and closing our shops, this time for a long time," said Naudé.

He added that his employees were also affected because they were at home for three weeks without an income.

Naudé said he was on the verge of registering his employees to benefit from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) before the Level 4 lockdown was introduced last week.

It feels nice to be back at work. We are coping although we don't have as many clients as before. Currently, we are completing orders we received before lockdown.  Currently, with the number of orders I have, I will be able to pay salaries," he said.

READ | First batch of govt's coronavirus relief funding to roll out to small businesses next week

Richard Arends who owns Afri-Tech that supplies screen and filter cloths to mining and paper companies and food factories, said the lockdown affected his business severely.

The company employs 15 people.

Arends said during lockdown his company operated, but on a small scale.

"We have done little work during lockdown and are now doing extra during Level 4. During Level 5 we have made 15% monthly turnoff. Currently, the order intake is not too bad because mines have started operating.

"These are tough times for every business owner. One of our biggest challenges is that 30% of our products are meant to go to other countries," he said.

Arends said his other big challenge has been the ban on inter-provincial movement because his sales people can't visit clients in various parts of the country.

A worker at an SMME in Krugersdorp, Ratanang Moatlhodi, who was at home during the Level 5 lockdown, said he had been affected financially.

"I didn't have a salary to feed my family. Life was difficult [but] it was joyous when it was announced that we can return to our workplaces.

"I am happy to be back at work and earn a salary, unlike the past three weeks. My wish is that the lockdown should end quickly. However, at the rate people are behaving, I don't think it will end soon and we might be taken back to Level 5 without jobs, temporary or permanent," said Moatlhodi.


Dezzy Hyman said he observed that many people did not adhere to the lockdown regulations.

"We as people, don't respect regulations. Some of us roam streets, children don't stay indoors and many are walking around. The spread of this virus will not end as long as we don't behave as required by government.

"We must follow the law and behave well to ensure that the lockdown ends quickly. I think if the lockdown continues further, many of us are going to lose our jobs because of lack of profit by many companies," Hyman said.

- Stay healthy and entertained during the national lockdown. Sign up for our Lockdown Living newsletter. Register and manage your newsletters in the new News24 app by clicking on the Profile tab

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Gauteng DA leader Solly Msimanga says the party's voters want it to explore conditional coalition talks with the ANC. 
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
It's a step in the right direction. An ANC-DA coalition would be the most stable option for SA
33% - 2795 votes
The DA should focus on working with all opposition parties, including the EFF, to unseat the ANC
15% - 1251 votes
The DA should rather remain in opposition than form a coalition with the ANC or the EFF
52% - 4440 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.