The nitpicking as to what constitutes an "essential service", micromanaging, restrictive lockdown and super strict social distancing (when we are already wearing masks) will create long lasting impact that will far outweigh the virus itself and it certainly adds credence to conspiracy theories that there might be more at play here such as an ANC attempt at a Chinese style planned economy once all free enterprises have been choked to death. Many lockdown restrictions make no sense and it appears to be the aim of government for companies to shut down. Examples such as food deliveries which only make up a small fraction of the fast food sector industry. I can't see struggling firms like Edgars survive under these conditions, the restrictions are also done in such a manner as to terrify people making them even less likely to spend or even go to shops but for the bare minimum required. Disposable and discretionary income is what keeps many businesses alive and people in jobs.
Friday May 1, I went to N1 City mall, the shops that are closed and severely strict social distancing (on top of masks) they are imposing is just crazy. Only a very few people is allowed in a shop at the time, you have to stand in a line outside the mall, once inside you can only go to one shop, and have to go stand outside again in a line if you want to go to another shop. Inside the shop "non-essential" goods are closed off, in Dischem this meant some miscellaneous items, I mean God forbid I need a travel pillow to use on my La-Z-Boy for my Netflix marathons. But Dischem could have made a sale, which would have resulted in more orders being placed for that product and hopefully jobs being preserved.
I have no problem with social distancing and wearing a mask, but at this rate there won't be much left when this is over. I can see why some companies don't even bother to open under these circumstances. We are already wearing masks at least keep business flowing to a reasonable level, when you allow only a few people into a shop at a time, the lines will keep many people away.
I feel very sorry for the staff, their bosses are comfy at home, as is the politicians imposing the rules. The staff will bear the full consequences of these disastrous actions. As for the mall owners, I will say nothing about them as I don't have a lot of sympathies - except for pensioners depending on REITs investments.
Not only is the R500b rescue package not enough, and not only don't we even have the money, but every day on this lockdown will require us to have more and more money to lift ourselves out of it. As to what the governments endgame is I have no idea, how will they get themselves out of this hole they are digging I have no idea either.
My biggest concern is that South Africa descends into anarchy as people struggle to survive due to the lasting effects on the economy. Prophets of doom are saying the endgame is demolish the middle class to make everyone poor and dependent on state assistance but I can't see that happening as where will the money come from to pay for the food parcels for tens of millions of people?