A Gauteng-based business woman has written an emotional open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa describing how the lockdown has impacted her business and her employees…
She ran a retail liquor store and had two employees when lockdown regulations were instituted.
Sadly, she was forced to close her business due to the extended ban on sales. This is the same fate that hundreds of other South African businesses have faced. Those in the travel, hospitality, and alcohol industries were crippled by the lockdown regulations.
Level 2 restrictions will help some of the businesses restart their operations, but many, like Sandipa’s, will not be able to recover from the devastating economic loss.
Read Sandipa Shah’s emotional, honest, letter below:
Dear Uncle Cyril
Despite all the respect I thought I had lost for you I will always address you as Uncle because that’s a sign of my integrity and how I was taught to address my elders.
I write this letter in the hope that it will somehow reach you and you will read a first-hand account of how you are responsible for the absolute crumbling of not only my life but many others who worked for me and surrounded me in this industry.
A little bit of background… I’ve been a tax paying citizen for 16 years now since I started working at the age of 23. I have never defaulted on my tax returns and come from a long line of tax paying contributors to this beautiful country. My parents both diligently paid their taxes too and contributed largely to the community we lived in not only through charitable ventures but through their careers as teachers, shaping the lives of so many successful men and women who are in turn doing their bit for this country.
I’ve worked smart all my life and when I took the plunge to open my own business it was a difficult decision
I sacrificed my entire life savings, my precious family time and my own health and sanity to do it. I thought it would be worth it in the end. But little did I know that just over a year later you wouldn’t even give me the opportunity to find out if I would have a success story too. Instead, you shut me down, you reopened me, you shut me down again and you offered no help at all.
I sacrificed my entire life savings, my precious family time and my own health and sanity to do it. I thought it would be worth it in the end.
At first I supported your decision to close for 21 days which seemed a reasonable amount of time to help curb the spread of the virus. I ticked all the boxes to receive help from you and you supposedly secured R500bn in order to help us but I saw none of it. My staff and I received nothing from the UIF fund despite many attempts at trying to get help from them although I was successfully audited by the labour department less than 6 months ago. This is another sterling example of my complying with all your requirements but you not coming to the party when I need help. My staff and I have suffered immensely over the last few months; all black women doing their bit to contribute to your economy.
You’ve left me with nothing to show for the 16 years I’ve been adding value to this country and I’ve now had to permanently close down my business
I will never know whether it would have been a success or not.
For all these years I was the patriotic citizen who bragged about our beautiful country to everyone around the world and could never have imagined leaving to live somewhere else because of my patriotism. However, I am now seriously considering it. I know I have a lot to offer and that I will be appreciated wherever else I choose to go.
Yours in absolute devastation, disappointment and disillusionment