The unemployment rate has gone up in lot of communities and people are suffering. Many companies are closing or closed down and in other ones the workers have a timetable where they work one week and next week other workers have a shift. This means they earn much less money because they do not work all the days they used to work. To make it worse, many families have only one person who works and earn for everyone.
Mrs. Sono lives in Braamfischer (north of Johannesburg) with her five children and her husband. Her husband used to work at a company in Booysens (in Johannesburg) that made sofas, bases of beds, and other products that use sponge. At first when the pandemic was announced in March, the workers were asked to work two times a week but as time went, they used to work only when they were called to come to work after the company received a production order.
In June 2020 the company told the workers that they have to sell the company to someone who can manage it as they were not getting orders to produce anything. The workers asked what would happen to their jobs and the company responded that if the buyer agreed to take the company with the workers then their jobs would be safe. But unfortunately the company did not manage to find a buyer to sell the company to so it was liquidated and all the workers lost their jobs.
According to Mrs Sono, “it was painful for me and my husband because he was the breadwinner in the family and the severance money he got did not cover us for long.”
She said it has been difficult as they have to support their children while they both are not working.
The coronavirus has increased the number of people who are not working and even the companies that are open are not hiring any new staff as they are also experiencing a lot of problems as well.
This article was submitted on 12 March 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.