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Business Impact Of The COVID-19 Pandemic In South Africa

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29 June 2020 – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused such widespread disruption to economies and societies across the globe, Statistics South Africa has conducted three surveys on the impact of the pandemic on South African business. The first survey covered the period 30 March to 13 April 2020, and the results were published on 21 April 2020. The results for the second survey were published on 14 May 2020 with a reference period covering 14 – 30 April 2020. This publication provides the results of the third survey, covering the period 1 to 30 May 2020.

The third survey contains additional variables or questions related to research and development that provide further insight into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings contained in the first and second business impact surveys cover South Africa’s level 5 lockdown period, while the findings contained in the third survey cover the level 4 lockdown period.

Key results

· The majority of responding businesses (84,3%) reported that business turnover was below the normal range.

· 20,2% indicated temporary closure or paused trading activity.

· 51,6% continued to trade partially.

· 25,8% reported the laying off of staff in the short term.

· 26,8% expected their workforce size to decrease during the level 3 lockdown period.

· 39,0% indicated that prices of materials, goods or services purchased increased more than normal. · Access to financial resources: 59,0% indicated that access to financial resources remained the same, while 20,3% indicated a decrease in financial resources.

· 39,8% of businesses responding to the survey indicated that they have applied for financial assistance using government relief schemes.

· 54,9% of businesses indicated they can survive between 1 and 3 months without any turnover.

· Majority of the workforce (61,6%) were able to meet business demands, 30,2% of the workforce were unable to meet business demands and the rest reported ‘not sure’.

· A majority of respondents (86,4%) indicated that their businesses would be operating during the level 3 lockdown period.

The third survey (1–31 May 2020) showed that 84,3% of responding businesses had turnover that was lower than their normal range, down from 89,6% in the second survey (14 – 30 April 2020); 1,5% reported that turnover was higher than their normal range; and 14,3% reported that turnover was within their normal range. Source (StatsSA)