Covid-19 buries TY’s small businesses


Lehlohonolo Lebiletsa

Teyateyaneng – The festive season is usually a good time for people in business to make some decent profit but this year was quite different as a lot of businessmen say their businesses didn’t make as much cash as they usually do because of the Corona virus pandemic. Kaizer Mankoane who owns a barber shop in Teyateyaneng town said today this year was a right-off.

The 26-year-old said he normally makes a fortune during this time because a lot of people need fresh haircuts to look good during the festive season but this year was a different story. “I was at work even on Christmas because I was still hoping that some clients will come for haircuts but very unfortunately, only two people came. Mind you, I was at work from morning and the whole afternoon. This has been the hardest year for me,” he added.

To make matters worse, during the course of the year he normally relies on hordes of school pupils who have to have a regular haircut but schools were closed throughout most of the year, so by the time the Christmas season started, his business was already on its knees.

Meanwhile, in the same town, a bar owner who refused to be identified pointed at the empty fridges in his bar, lamenting since he started selling alcohol 10 years ago he had never lacked money to stock and fill his fridges.

“This year was one of its own kind. I have never seen anything like this before,” he said this afternoon. His bar, which popular around the town of T.Y. has lost even some of its regular customers because most of them either lost their jobs or are earning half salaries which makes it hard for them to spare some cash for booze.

“Due to the fact that a lot of people have either been retrenched or their salaries have been reduced, I have lost a lot of my customers because they do not have extra cash. Some of them even plead with me to borrow but I cannot do that because I am already failing to stock,” he said. On the other hand, despite the tough business environment, one Khauhelo Motumi decided to start a business of dying clothes and shoes.

He said despite the challenges, Motumi decided to face his fears and do something rather than stay at home and die of hunger. “Though people say this year is hard and everything is falling apart, I decided to mute all those negative thoughts and start a business.”

He said he is content because he is at least getting something that he couldn’t get while he was at home.

“I cannot complain about business because even if I go home with ten Maloti, it is still better than staying at home and not earning a single cent. I am, however, certain business could have been much better if it wasn’t for Covid-19,” he added.

On the whole, the streets of T.Y. which are usually packed during this time of the year were eerily quiet as a lot of businesses, especially shacks, have remained closed since the beginning of the festive season.


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