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Lockdown retrenchment a blessing in disguise, says CT entrepreneur

Andrea Hartzenburg is one of 2.2 million people who've lost their jobs during the second quarter of this year.

Andrea Hartzenberg believes that being retrenched during the lockdown was a blessing in disguise as it allowed her to start her own business. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town woman who lost her job during the national lockdown said that the experience forced her to put her future plans in action.

Andrea Hartzenberg (28) worked as a student assistant at a long-distance training institution and was told her last working day would be on 22 June.

Hartzenburg is one of 2.2 million people who've lost their jobs during the second quarter of this year.

Andrea Hartzenberg, who got married at the end of last year, explained that her retrenchment caught her by surprise as she always believed that her job would withstand the impact of the lockdown.

"Upon coming back to work, we were told that there would be retrenchments and I was one of the people who were retrenched. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I never feared that I would lose my job because we always had this mindset that 'it will never happen to me'."

She said that after dealing with the stress and anxiety of not having a job, she started working on a business venture, The Vanilla Black, a small business specialising in clothing and other fashion accessories.

"When I took time and thought about it what I needed to do next, I actually calmed down. I started my own business and thought maybe this was a sign that I was waiting for just to get started. I'd say that being retrenched was a blessing in disguise for me."

Stats SA said that South Africa's official unemployment rate dropped from 30.1% in the first quarter of this year, to 23.3% between April and June.

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