Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
4 minute read
26 Jul 2021
5:00 am

Unrest: Small businesses will take economy down with them

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Many small businesses may never recover, which will lead to job losses, and increased poverty, which in turn could lead to more violence.

Ndofaya Mall in Meadowlands, Soweto is seen during a clean-up operation, 20 July 2021, after rampant looting last week. Ten people died in a stampede at the shopping centre. Picture: Michel Bega

Small businesses took the biggest hit from the recent bouts of looting and riots in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng, according to a recent survey by Beyond-Covid, and their inability to bounce back might be detrimental to the country's economy as a whole. The non-profit company (NPC) and other experts suggest these events have exposed how vulnerable small businesses are to volatility, despite being the backbone of employment in South Africa. It is estimated that 72% of businesses affected by the looting sprees in early July fall in the category of small and micro enterprises, including informal traders. “What is worrying is...