Stark warning Covid-19 will add a million to SA’s unemployed

Moving into the lockdown era of remote communication is proving a tough adjustment for some. Ask Finance Minister Tito Mboweni who presided over a chaotic media teleconference yesterday although, to his credit, he handled the continuous interruptions like a pro.

While numerous others lost their cool at the computer voiced interruptions and overall poor sound quality, Mboweni soldiered through a prepared speech and even opened up for questions. The only admission of irritation which must have been boiling up inside… “it was an interesting experience, but anyway…”

Although impossible to unpack the full message, it was possible to decipher there is a critical cabinet meeting today at which big decisions are on the table. Among them whether to close SAA and its cousin SA Express. Given other calls on the country’s finances, it’s hard to see either airline getting another lifeline.

Although it won’t be any consolation to those who work for the airlines, they won’t be the only highly geared enterprises that won’t survive this crisis. Business for SA’s Martin Kingston yesterday projected a million new faces will be added to SA’s unemployment lines this. Which means hundreds of companies won’t make it. Vasbyt.

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