Lockdown Level 4 came into effect on June 28, 2021. In fact, the previous lockdowns really hurt the hospitality trade. Things just started looking up when South Africa briefly transitioned back to Level 1 in February this year. By then it was too late for many people in the hospitality trade. Now, with fast reversals in a matter of weeks, desperation becomes evident as devastating layoffs take place.
Lockdown Level 4 Hits The Hospitality Trade Hard – Again
In February this year, South Africans heaved a sigh of relief as beaches opened once again. Once again, people could enjoy a drink and a meal at a restaurant, or walk their dogs, swim in the sea, and look forward to family holidays. However, it came way too late for some people. Many places that relied on the sale of alcohol, seated guests, and people in beds went under. In January this year, the La Tete Restaurant in Cape Town closed its doors from COVID-19 restrictions.
The current Lockdown Level 4 brings more hardship across many industries. Already battered and devastated by lockdowns, mid-sized businesses close or lay off staff. Many people who felt desperate blamed the alcohol bans for the loss of so many jobs. Briefly, most restrictions went away. That is until President Ramaphosa visited the G7 Summit in June where a remarkable absence of social distancing and mask-wearing came to light. Within days of his return, South Africa once again faced the prospect of more harsh lockdowns.
Ashbourne House In Franschhoek Laments Staff Layoffs In Lockdown Level 4
While the third wave restrictions might be reviewed on July 11, few people feel hopeful that conditions might ease. In fact, some people feel afraid that many businesses might not survive whether the country goes back to Level 5 or remains under the current restrictions. For Ashbourne House, a guesthouse in Franschhoek, no other option but to lay off staff exists right now.
Taking to Twitter the account for the guesthouse talked about how Lockdown Level 4 affected them. The post read, “We should have 16 staff in our guesthouse and restaurant on our payroll, but our cash is finished. Had to send 13 home since [the] beginning of level 4 without pay because we can’t pay salaries any more. Can anyone understand our staff’s and our own pain?”
People Certainly Can Feel The Pain
South Africa already managed to overtake many other countries when it comes to the unemployment rates. Lockdown Level 4 only means lots more hardship and the loss of more jobs for people across South Africa. Across social media, anger rises against the continued lockdowns. That anger rises from fear for the future that sometimes outweighs the fear of the virus itself.
Remember to check back with us often for more news and updates about Lockdown Level 4 in South Africa.