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Unemployed and locked down

With all the changes the Corona virus inflicted on us, unemployment was one of the biggest one which hit hard on families and companies.

Low levels of productivity and companies having to close down meant management had to step up to keep businesses safe and avoid bankruptcy. This concluded to some employees being retrenched and others getting a cut on their salaries.

Businesses which were actively needed happened to be mortuaries, but because funeral had new ways of being run, many employees lost their jobs.

Andile Mtshali (34) from Soweto lost his job and had no plan of how to get an income. “I worked for one of the biggest companies which buried our loved ones and unfortunately they had to let me go because funerals needed less people in lockdown”.

The President had addressed that not more than 100 people were allowed at a funeral. Companies which provided services to grieving families had less people to deal with and lockdown restrictions forced them to cut down on their staff.

Some employees felt that they were unfairly dismissed and their relief funds could not sustain them and their families for long. Sbongile Mashuping who worked as a cleaner had to write a lot of letters before she could get her money after being retrenched.


“I wrote to the CCMA and everything was just a long process, this affected my family and I so badly that we lived off my daughters NSFAS money for a period of six months” she said. Shuping felt her humam rights were being violated and her former company disappointed her, she worked for them for 13 years.

Major changed put companies under a lot of pressure and with the limited movement allowed, things didn’t work out best for a lot of them.

Terrence Ndlovu who owns a business which had products imported from other countries lost millions during the lockdown and this forced him to let go of most of his employees. “Boarders were closed, everything stopped and that meant no productivity for my company.” he said.

Ndlovu further explained how stranded he felt but this also opened new doors and made him more creative on how to run the business better.

He now has a partnership with his supplier and one shop opened in the country to help sustain his company for unforseen circumstances.

The staff he had to let go off got new jobs at the factory which makes his products and he feels positive about carrying on. “The lockdown really challenged me and by facing my fears, something great was born” he explained excitedly.

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