Zubeida King. Capetonians and small business owners have voiced their views on the 21-day lockdown, to be implemented as of Thursday midnight. Picture: Shakirah Thebus/Cape Argus
Zubeida King. Capetonians and small business owners have voiced their views on the 21-day lockdown, to be implemented as of Thursday midnight. Picture: Shakirah Thebus/Cape Argus

Cape residents, small business owners react to looming Covid-19 lockdown

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Mar 25, 2020

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Cape Town - South Africans and small business owners have voiced their views on the 21 day lockdown, to be implemented as of Thursday midnight.

The announcement was made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening, after many citizens had predicted and called for a complete lockdown on the country, following a spike in confirmed Covid-19 cases across the country.

Retail clerk, Shamielah Ismail of Woodstock said: “It’s a sad situation. I would say there are positives and negatives with the decision. The positive side is the fact that this would be in the best interest of everyone. It’s a good thing because obviously we won’t get infected if we’re going to self-isolate ourselves.

“The fact that homeless people are going to be placed somewhere, that’s a good thing. The negative side is that there are people who are not prepared. It’s just very emotional, especially for those who are unemployed and go out to look for money each day to survive. At the end of the day, it’s in our best interests.”

Owner of Fish City in Rylands, Ali Molla said: “Because of the virus, the business is down now. It’s not so good and we’re going to close for the 21 days. So I don’t know how we’re going to survive.”

Owner of hair salon, Hair on Time in Gatesville, Tarah Benjamin said: “The 21 days of lockdown had a great effect on a lot of businesses, but we have to abide by the rules. Yes, let’s pray and trust that it is only going to be 21 days and that this thing is going to blow over. My business is going to close for 21 days, fortunately enough, there are no disadvantages from my side.”

Margaret Alexander of Manenberg said: “They said the more vulnerable are the older people, and I’m almost 70 now and I think I must look after myself.

“So I think it’s fine. For me, there is no problem. If you don’t abide by the rules, then it’s like you put your foot in a trap. I am doing my shopping now so I can stay indoors until this 21 days is over.”

Informal trader, Randy Musithu of Maitland said: “For us, it’s bad right now because we depend on ourselves. We don’t have anyone paying us. So it’s going to be hard to pay for the bills. If it means I have to work, I’ll make a plan. I can’t stay indoors, because I have electricity bills to pay and other stuff.”

“I am really unhappy about it. I am the sole supporter and there’s other people I have to look after. I don’t have any idea of what I’ll do,” said informal trader from Delft, Zubeida King.

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