The country’s business sector has been urgently appealing to government departments – in some instances via legal means to relax more of the lockdown regulations. This cry does not come from selfish business agendas but from a position of keeping an economy afloat.
In an interview with Sean Stegmann from Cash Crusaders, Sean said that although he supported the President’s decision to initiate a nationwide lockdown to #flattenthecurve, he – like many other business leaders, need for government to realise the economic impact the various lockdown levels are having on small, medium and large enterprises by not being realistic with the trading allowances. “Online businesses and even online second-hand trading has commenced, yet our business is still only allowed to trade with between 10-15% of our products. Our business is much broader than that as we serve entire communities and with the current economic climate, our second-hand business can significantly benefit these communities, yet we have been limited in what areas we’re allowed to trade.” In addition to this, Sean says that because their pawn business is also not yet allowed to operate, people are not able to access funds, nor their personal items at this stage either.
Cash Crusaders operate 220 stores in Southern Africa. There are on average 15 staff members per store and across the business, they feed approximately 17,000 people every day. “The economy needs to open,” says Sean. “We have written to the DTI and to COGTA to appeal to them to allow us to open up so people can buy and sell their second hand goods or apply for a loan from us – an option that people who have been financially affected by this pandemic will need right now.”
Sean says that they fully support and have implemented the COVID-19 social distancing and sanitation requirements within each of their stores and have ensured that every obligatory training process has and will continue to roll out across the business. “Among many measures that will be taking place, for example, every single customer and staff member will have their temperature taken and if these readings are too high, these people will not be allowed into the store. This is imperative for a socially responsible business” says Sean.
Sean will continue to appeal to and put pressure of the various departments and government regulators at both a regional and national level to open the economy. “If we don’t do this, we will be faced with the catastrophic reality of having to close stores so the current status quo simply cannot prevail – we need a solution!”
“We need someone of sober, constructive mind to look at the country’s economy vs the rate of infection and forecasted death rate, and take the responsible and economically sensible position to relax the lockdown trading regulations to save the economy for the future generations, not necessarily just this one,” concludes Sean.