South Africa’s auto industry may have to lay off up to 10 percent of its workforce due to the country’s lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to an industry-wide survey the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA).
The survey seen by Reuters news agency estimates that the 21-day lockdown could spark job losses of between 1 percent and 10 percent, which could rise to between 21 percent and 30 percent is the situation remains until the end of May.
The survey, compiled by NAAMSA Chief Executive Mike Mabasa, covers the entire automotive industry which, it said, employs 468,000 people.
The vast majority of those jobs are in the retail sector. Manufacturing accounts for around 110,000 of the jobs, the survey said.
South Africa is one of 52 African countries that have recorded cases of COVID-19. The country has reported over 2,000 COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths. 410 people have recovered.
In total, Africa has reported close to 11,000 COVID-19 cases, with over 500 deaths. Over 1,000 people have recovered.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday acknowledged the challenges that have been brought by the disease, but expressed optimism that the country would win the fight against COVID, and that normalcy would resume in due course.
President Ramphosa called upon South Africans to make donations to a solidarity fund which he announced earlier this week, in order to help less fortunate citizens cope with the tough times.