Small businesses and freelancers are starting to suffer as the knock-on effects of the coronavirus and social distancing take effect.
In a very short space of time, confirmed cases of the virus have risen from 85 yesterday morning to a staggering 116, at the time of writing.
Check out the John’s Hopkins live map to keep up to date with accurate figures.
It’s more important than ever to avoid large gatherings, and self-isolate as far as possible, but, as photographer Sipho Maluka told SowetanLIVE, this is impacting the livelihoods of a number of independent contractors.
“Clients are cancelling events and some events are getting postponed. This will affect us financially because this is how we survive.
“I was booked for an overseas event and it was postponed last week for this week but I don’t know what will happen as the president has imposed a travel ban.”
People who run small businesses in the catering industry are also struggling to make ends meet.
Chef Pule Matlhakoane said people were panicking and as a result the majority of events were being cancelled.
“The food industry doesn’t have a lot of money and we depend on massive events for catering but those have been cancelled.
“I have seen a panic in people as they have started buying food so there can be enough in their houses for them to stop coming to restaurants.”
A new study into the coronavirus suggests that one of the biggest ways that the virus will escalate is through undocumented and asymptomatic cases, which means that social-distancing is more important than ever.
As for small businesses in South Africa, according to City Press, the Department of Small Business Development is set to release a R 1 billion support package to assist small, micro and medium-sized businesses across the country.
Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni is expected to announce that budget and how it will be distributed, today.
In the meantime, brush up on your rights as an employer or employee as remote working becomes the new normal.
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