Level 3: More needs to be done to save jobs, says Winde
Share this article:
Cape Town – Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has welcomed the move to an adjusted alert level 3 and the announcement of additional financial relief measures to support the most vulnerable.
Winde was referring on Monday to the reintroduction of the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant, the deferral of the tax on alcohol for three months, and the deferral of PAYE taxes payments.
However, he highlighted the fact that more needs to be done to boost growth and save jobs, with the taxi-related violence putting further pressure on livelihoods in the province, coupled with the nationwide economic impact of the looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
’’The Western Cape government has adopted a policy position that both lives and jobs need to be saved during this unprecedented pandemic. Getting this balance right is extremely difficult, but it remains important because a job is not just a nice-to-have – it is often the difference between putting food on the table and starving for many people in the Western Cape,’’ Winde said on Monday.
“According to our own research, potential losses suffered by the Western Cape alcohol industry as a result of the last 14 days of restrictions amount to R1 billion in sales and 2 798 jobs. The now month-long ban could potentially result in losses of R2 billion in sales and 5 596 jobs.
’’The potential losses suffered by the Western Cape restaurant industry are estimated to be R316,8 million in sales and 1 174 jobs as a result of the last 14-days of restrictions. The industry is severely impacted by a full alcohol ban, and so these losses would have been extended if it had continued.
’’According to a snap poll, conducted by the Western Cape’s Department of Economic Development, of over 400 businesses in the accommodation and restaurant sub-sectors, roughly 40% had closed temporarily, with two-thirds of businesses saying they will lose between 75% to 100% of their revenue for July/August 2021. One third of responders have had to retrench staff.“
Commenting on third-wave Covid-19 infections declining, Winde said: “There is a more than 70% probability that the Western Cape is at its peak already. We are closely monitoring our data, but it seems that the province will peak below its second wave peak.
’’The Western Cape’s advanced planning for the third wave, as well as investment in additional resources over the last month, means that we continue to have the capacity to respond, although under pressure at the peak.’’