Author(s): Kola Olusola Odeku
Before the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, the black majority faced various socioeconomic challenges which have been exacerbated due to the pandemic. This is because the black majority’s sources of livelihood are mainly from operating and trading in informal small and micro-businesses as they often do not have the financial means to rent shops or spaces at the big malls or shopping complexes like the big businesses which are mainly owned by the whites located in glamorous malls. To curb the spread of the virus in South Africa, lockdown and safety measures were imposed, resulting in most informal businesses being shut down because they were not recognized as offering essential services while formal big businesses that were located in shopping malls were allowed to continue to operate due to the fact that they were considered as offering essential services. This paper looks at the extent of the impact and effect of the lockdown measures on black-owned informal businesses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.