Struggle continues at level 3

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation.

Capetonians breathed a sigh of relief after president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that all provinces would be moving to lockdown level 3 on Monday June 1.

He addressed the nation on Sunday May 24, exactly 10 weeks after initially declaring a national state of disaster.

Cape Town was declared a hot spot and will be re-evaluated every two weeks. The province has
15 756 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 357 deaths, on Wednesday May 27 according to the Western Cape government.

South Africans can now buy alcohol under strict conditions and exercise at any time of the day, but restaurants, bars, beauty salons, hairdressers and gyms remain closed.

Aimee Webb is the owner of ALS Beauty and has not been able to earn a living since lockdown.

She runs her salon from her Capri home, which she and her husband rent from her parents.

“At the beginning of lockdown, we looked at our expenses to see where we could save money,
and we would have been fine if the lockdown lasted for the initial three weeks because we had some savings.”

However, due to the extended lockdown, she had to ask her parents for a grace period on rent and her in-laws have helped them out with a loan.

“We are now down to our last money, but, thankfully, my husband can go back to work on June 1.”

Ms Webb said clients contacted her daily, asking “please can you see me” or “why don’t you just work mobile” which makes her feel bad for abiding by the law.

“I love what I do and I want to go back to work as soon as I can, but I can’t risk a hefty fine or imprisonment for someone to have pretty nails,” she said.

Jade Whitaker, owner of Pure Wellness beauty salon in Sunnydale, said she had not worked since lockdown started and it was taking a toll on her and her staff.

She started her business from scratch 13 years ago and said the pandemic was tearing her hard work apart.

“I am not sure how much longer we can carry on like this. I have bills to pay and no one gives ‘payment holidays’ to self employed people,” she said.

She said she would have to catch up on shop rental and dig deeper into her pockets to get her shop ready for when she could eventually allowed to open.

“But how can we earn a living if we rely on feet coming through the door?” she asked.

Tara Wilson is a self employed hairstylist and rents a chair at the Bobby Pin Hair Studio in Noordhoek. She too has not had any income since lockdown.

She believes that by limiting clients, wearing protective gear, and sanitising before, during and after seeing a client, hair salons can be operational.

“We are trained from day one to practise health and safety measures,” she said

Sacha Claassen works for a local gym and feels anxious and angry about the current situation.

“It’s been an awful two months of worrying every day,” she said.

Currently, her only income is compensation from the Covid-19 Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme (TERS), which does not come close to her monthly rent.

“I don’t want to be in debt owing rent for who knows how long,” she said.

Some of the key changes for lockdown level 3 are:

Blob: The sale of tobacco products remains prohibited.

Blob: Alcohol will be sold under strict conditions and can only be consumed at home.

Blob: You can now exercise at any time of the day.

Blob: Restaurants, bars, beauty salons, gyms, fitness centres and hairdressers will remain closed.

Blob: Parents will not be forced to send their child to school.

Blob: The school calendar will be revised and the curriculum will be trimmed.

Blob: National borders will remain closed except for the transport of goods and repatriation of nationals.

Blob: Some areas have been identified as hot spots.

Blob: Domestic air travel for business will be allowed.

Blob: The sale of all clothing is now allowed.

Blob: All construction work will now be allowed.

Blob: No social gatherings.