Last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation regarding some changes that were coming under level 3 lockdown.

In particular these changes pertained to businesses that were still unable to operate at the time due to the restrictions of said level, but now that has changed for some industries.

Much of the reason for the lowering of restrictions by government appears to be the growing pressure faced by businesses which have been un-operational for the past 80 days, with some high-profile companies already having to make drastic decisions as a result.

“There are businesses that haven’t earned an income or revenue, and individuals who haven’t earned a salary for over 80 days, even with the measures we put in place to support companies, workers and poor households as part of the R500 billion relief package that we announced,” Ramaphosa explained.

To that end, the presidency has listed the following businesses and industries as being able to operate again, provided they follow strict guidelines:

  • Restaurants for ‘sit-down’ meals.
  • Accredited and licensed accommodation, except home-sharing accommodation like Airbnb.
  • Conferences and meetings for business purposes and in line with restrictions on public gatherings.
  • Cinemas and theatres, to be aligned to limitations on the gathering of people.
  • Casinos.
  • Personal care services, including hairdressers and beauty services.
  • Non-contact sports such as golf, tennis, cricket and others.
  • Contact sports will be allowed only for training and modified activities with restricted use of facilities.

Whether this will be enough to assist smaller businesses that have been struggling heavily up until now, remains to be seen, but before you go booking that first haircut appointment, you’ll need to give your hairdresser or barber time to ensure the correct safety requirements are in place.

Added to this is the fact that no official date has been confirmed for the re-opening, so once again it looks like government has made a decision without thinking it through fully.

As such, we’ll need to wait until the presidency confirms when these businesses can operate, as well as what safety measures they will need to have in place.

[Image – Photo by Quaid Lagan on Unsplash]