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Retrenchments on the Rise in SA

Aug 21, 2020

By Naseerah Nanabhai


Among the extensive effects of lockdown regulations, job losses remain the most devastating. With findings suggesting a larger than the usual number of retrenchments during the months of May and June this year.

A National Income Dynamics Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey found that at least 3,000,000 South Africans are now jobless because of the national lockdown.

South African businesses have been severely impacted by the economic downturn, particularly in the travel, tourism, restaurant, and entertainment industries. Many businesses were left with no choice but to cut salaries, retrench workers, and stop all bonuses to remain sustainable.

The lack of job security, financial uncertainty, and the changing work environment are also taking their toll on employees. A study revealed that South African employees are taking second jobs and using expensive short -term loans just to make it through the month. “It points to a nation struggling to stay afloat”, according to Tamir Sacks, CEO of PayCurve.

In an attempt to relieve the economic burden of citizens, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) stated that it has paid close to R40 billion, which was the figure that it had committed to before announcing that the period Covid-19 TERS benefit scheme will be extended in keeping with the period of disaster to 15 August.

The fund said it has made ‘great strides’ in closing the gaps of outstanding payments with over R1.5 billion paid since the beginning of August specially dedicated to outstanding payments over and above other payments.

Last Saturday, in President Cyril Ramaphosa address to the nation, he stated that government, labour and business are working on an economic recovery plan for the country.

As the country moves to Alert Level 2, Ramaphosa said the government is now formulating an urgent economic recovery programme to save jobs and create new ones.


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