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'No work, no pay' - Non-essential workers feeling financial strain of lockdown

As South Africa enters week two of the national lockdown, thousands of workers are feeling the impact and it’s been devastating.

FILE: Construction workers at a site in Cape Town on 25 March 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Government may have revised some regulations to accommodate the needs of South Africans but there are many others who remain adversely affected by the lockdown.

These include workers in construction whose income has been completely cut off and have no assurance that they will be employed again.

As South Africa enters week two of the national lockdown, thousands of workers are feeling the impact and it’s been devastating.

One man, who spoke anonymously, worked in construction, which was not deemed an essential service, so he had lost his wages.

“Our bosses implied to us that no work, no pay.”

He said he feared for the worst for him and his family if the lockdown was extended beyond the 21 days.

“School fees must still be paid, rent is due and not to mention groceries. I cannot even pursue my side hustle business, which is to print and to sell T-shirts at the flee market.”

Meanwhile, government has launched the COVID-19 temporary employee-employer relief scheme to mitigate the impact of the lockdown on businesses and workers.

Companies have also been called upon to apply for UIF benefits on behalf of their employees and claims will be paid out when the lockdown ends.

WATCH: COVID-19 Situation Desk - 2 April 2020 PM

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.