May 1, 2020

Went to drop off our latest batch of masks from the #100women project at the town hall and did a quick drive around town. Many stores closed during the lockdown now open, from clothes to biltong to dried fruit. In the harbour most of the restaurants are active and preparing for deliveries later in the day. I frankly don't think under the present circumstances the partial opening of the economy is really workable. You either close it or you open it up. So now you expect the police to go around and in an draconian way close up all shops that don't fall within the strict ambit of the regulations. There are too many variations at play. For instance the same store sells furniture and PPE. He is allowed to trade but the furniture store around the corner is not allowed to open? The police haven't got the manpower or willingness to enforce this. For businesses to survive they need to do business. They are going to open up and wait for somebody to close them down.

The mandatory mask thing is also not working. I saw countless people walking down Kleinmond's Main Rd without masks. If government wants to make it mandatory they should provide people with masks. What is basically happening is exactly the same thing that happened with the food. Government locks down the economy and takes away people's means to earn. They don't provide food but know society will step in and provide. The first food parcels from Sassa, 52 in all, arrived in Kleinmond on Wednesday, more than four weeks after lockdown started. It is shocking how ineffective government is and then they expect the very people they are discriminating against in terms of government aid to step up and help. More and more of these very same people are starting to ask the question: Why should I contribute towards the greater good by way of taxes, VAT and UIF if my government, in the midst of a humanitarian crisis like we have never seen, discriminates against me on the basis of the colour of my skin? I am referring to government ministers stating that aid will in all cases be distributed in terms of BEE principals. Gerard Grobler, Editor, Overstrand Herald, Kleinmond

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