By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) forecasts that at the end of the five-week-long COVID-19 lockdown, companies will be forced to dismiss some of its workforce due to the disruption on the economy caused by the virus.
The chamber group’s report published Monday titled; “Sustainable and Flexible Economic Interventions to Address COVID-19”, contains worrisome statistics.
“Workforce will be made redundant as some businesses will not be able to adapt to the effects of COVID-19,” ZNCC said in the report.
“There is going to be loss of employment, 25% of permanent formal jobs will be lost and 75% of casual or temporary formal jobs will be lost as businesses lay off workers given the sharp contraction in many sectors.”
The report said the tourism sector will be the hardest hit as it is expected to shed almost 25% of the total formal sector employment followed by the manufacturing sector.
“If the total lockdown is extended without resorting to partial lockdown some of the leisure and tourism operators might completely collapse. With government having set the minimum wage, affordability by businesses is going to be a challenge as businesses adjust due to the effects of COVID-19,” the report says.
Zimbabwe is now in its fourth week of national lockdown, which was extended by another two weeks last Sunday by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and is expected to end on 3 May.