President Cyril Ramaphosa has mentioned two criteria to ease lockdown regulations: the rate of infection and the readiness to deal with the disease. The larger metros are likely to be able to move to the next level by the end of May, even though their infection rates are high. I am given to understand that Cape Town and Johannesburg are almost ready to deal with the crisis and qualify for level 3, the level we need to get to for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to survive.

Increasing trade for small businesses throughout the country will be vital for the economy. Level 5 saw only 10%-20% of SMEs trade. This increased to 30%-40% on level 4, and we expect 75% to trade under level 3. This will have a significant impact on the SME sector...

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