CAPE TOWN – Minister of Trade and Industry Mr. Ebrahim Patel’s announced the reopening of various sectors of the economy which gets underway on May 1 – the start of the level 4 risk-adjusted lockdown.
“In agriculture, the forestry and fishing sector will begin to open and it includes logging, horticulture, and the transport of livestock under clear social distancing directions that will be issued,” said Patel.
“In manufacturing, there will be a further partial opening.
“The sectors won’t be opening 100% during level 4 because we need to give firms an opportunity to phase in the return to work. We need to begin to test the systems at factory gates, work areas, in the canteens and bathrooms, in the screening of workers and transport.
“We also have to progressively increase the number of people who will be on the road moving to and from work,” he added.
Patel said that some sectors of manufacturing will have a higher proportion of workers who will be able to progressively return to work.
Some of these sub-sectors include children’s clothing and winter clothing, blanket manufacturing, computers, mobile phones as well as hardware and construction materials.
“The manufacturing of stationery will also be opened up because we need to prepare for workers going back to factories who will need stationery and prepare for the arrangements involving higher education and schooling.
“Services will increase like legal services, engineering, recycling centres which include informal recyclers, and those services that will support the other industries that will be open,” said Patel.
“Restaurants and takeaways will open but for delivery only, that means the customers don’t go to the shop so that we can limit the movement of people.
“It’s an opportunity to create a food delivery network in the townships as well,” he said.
“The phase reopening is an opportunity to support our economy, to support South African made products, to buy local goods because the Coronavirus has hurt our economy. It has hurt small businesses, township enterprises, larger companies, they’ve all been hurt.
“When we as South Africans go back to the shops and buy locally made goods, we bring demand back into our economy and we help the economy slowly to recover.
“We seek to enable a greater level of working from home which will also shift many sectors to a more digital form of communication,” said Patel.
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