For me the existence of COVID-19 did not impact me that much as I am considered an essential service provider employee. I am currently working for an FMCG company based in Durban and I have been working when the country was on lockdown level 5 up to now. I have been following the news very closely to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the South African economy. I know for sure that media houses are also considered essential service providers.
The latest statistics show that South Africa has a 37% unemployment rate with most companies being unable to breathe post COVID-19. The impact of COVID-19 is understated and I think we will still see the ripple effects in the coming months. Employers and employees are finding it hard to breathe and that has a direct impact on the economy of South Africa aswell as revenue collection for SARS.
I have noted a harmful statement which was published on Twitter 3 weeks ago that “if you want to stop a cult then don’t buy aQuellé.” This is an attack on the brand that was only born in 1997 and has been very helpful in the uplifting of the KwaZulu Natal economy and the KwaMxhosa community. Workers employed by the KwaSizabantu Mission are finding it hard to breathe as these allegations are constantly in the media and stores not buying the KwaSizabantu mission products. I am not saying justice must not be served. Will KwaSizabantu Mission employees get justice?
Some of these employees have families who depend on them to provide food and shelter. These employees have accounts to pay, how will those accounts be paid when they are working short times? If this is about justice we must also think about justice for the 1500 KwaSizabantu Mission employees who are unable to breathe.
The 1500 KwaSizabantu Mission employees is understated as suppliers of packaging and other raw materials are also finding it hard to survive with the sudden stop on orders. Those who are suppliers of raw materials also have families to feed and bills to pay. Are we doing them justice when we say people must stop buying the KwaSizabantu products?
Let us grow the economy of South Africa together. Let the KwaSizabantu Mission brands continue to employ the people of South Africa and directly contribute to the development of the KwaMxhosa community.
Nkosi Zikode (kwaMaphumulo)