On Friday last week, Edcon group announced the closure of its Rosebank Edgars store, a move that surprised everyone after last year’s agreement with landlords to reduce the group’s rent to give it a much-needed lifeline.

On Monday, Massmart announced that it could be shutting down a number of Dion Wired and Masscash stores, with about 1,440 jobs on the line.

If the trend continues this year is going to be one of the worst as far as job losses are concerned, on top of the already high unemployment rate, a stagnant economy, state-owned enterprises on life support, bankrupt key public institutions, protests and strikes for nondelivery, and — the elephant in the room — Eskom, which could pop the balloon and cause recession and bankruptcy for the whole country.

Jean Michel Bouvier

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