South Africa

National shutdown had little effect on local businesses, say owners

While the debate rages on about the impact of Monday’s so-called national shutdown, Rekord spoke to some local businesses to find out how they were impacted.

A Centurion businesswoman said her business was not affected as she had given her staff off for the long weekend in any case.

Makhosini Prudence, who runs a salon in the Centurion CBD, said her decision to grant her staff a day off on Monday was not informed by the shutdown.

“I honestly didn’t think of the strike when I gave them a day off on Monday,” she said.

“I thought it would be best to give them a rest as it would have not made sense for me to ask them to come and then take a day off on Tuesday again.”

She said that she understood the reason for the shutdown as load-shedding affected many businesses, especially small ones that were trying to make ends meet.

“Load-shedding affects a lot of business people. As I said, it mostly affects us as a small business.

“We managed to buy a small generator for our salon, but it also creates another challenge as it eats away our profit; so this load-shedding is very frustrating.”

Solomon Khalif, a supermarket owner in downtown Pretoria, said he closed his store on the day fearing that it would be looted.

“I closed my shop on Monday because I didn’t want to lose my stock and business.

“My brother’s shop was badly looted during the July unrest in Johannesburg, so I didn’t want to undergo the same ordeal,” said Khalif.

Harmony Mokoena, a boutique manager at Lyttelton Shopping Centre, said the decision to close the store on Monday was purely to enjoy the long weekend.

“The main reason for us deciding to close our store was that some of our staff have families outside Gauteng, so it was an opportunity for them to go and visit their loved ones.

“We also figured that some of the people would have probably taken the day off, so it would have also been pointless to open the store with the possibility that people might not even go shopping on the day.”

Riaan Grobler, a local financial advisor at Everest Wealth, said Monday’s protests did not have an immediate impact on the economy, but the economic impact would probably be visible in the next few months.

Grobler further said the rand traded steadily on Monday while it was another good day on the JSE.

He also applauded the government security cluster and the private sector for acting proactively by making sure that law and order were maintained.

“South Africa’s economy cannot afford a repeat of the July 2021 riots with the impact still being felt. The major impact of protests and strikes is usually only felt a few months later with the general consumer who ultimately has to bear the brunt of it.”

According to Grobler, many major businesses had contingency plans in place, including increased private security, in anticipation of possible disruption during Monday’s protests, while several businesses decided to close their doors for the day instead.

“The consumer is going to pay for this at the end of the day. The deployment of the defence force affects the taxpayer’s pocket and puts pressure on the state coffers. Companies’ increased spending on private security will also have to be factored in somewhere where the consumer will feel it – fewer profits mean fewer dividends,” he added.

Do you have more information about the story?

Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

For free breaking and community news, visit Rekord’s websites: Rekord East

For more news and interesting articles, like Rekord on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram