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MANZINI – “We will be affected, but the partial lockdown is necessary.” This approval was expressed by a lot of entrepreneurs who feared for their livelihoods, especially because many people failed to adhere to the regulations of social distancing, among others.

As thousands submit to government’s persuasion to stay at home - away from their workstations, tea parties, nightclubs and salons – the business community approves of the Prime Minister, Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini’s governments move of saving the lives of employees.


The premier had declared a National Emergency which was subsequently followed by a partial lockdown. The partial lockdown was later extended by three weeks in a relaxed manner.

Such an action drew scorn from the public and various sectors as they felt the virus would spread easily. In retrospect, when Dlamini yesterday updated the nation on COVID-19, he said government would revert to the stringent conditions that were implemented when the initial partial lockdown was introduced.
To this, businessman and Deputy President of the Federation of Eswatini Business Community (FESBC), Hezekial Mabuza, said the return of the initial conditions of the partial lockdown would affect the business community badly, but to avoid contracting the deadly coronavirus, it was essential.

Mabuza said if it were his way, government would implement a total lockdown for at least a week before re-introducing a partial lockdown. This, he said, would make the public understand the need to stay at home and stop gallivanting in city centres.

“If you can go to any town right now, people are going about engaging in their business with little or no care at all for the partial lockdown. This will spread the virus and may end up crippling the economy we are concerned about,” Mabuza said.


The entrepreneur said since the terms of the partial lockdown were relaxed, the curve in new infections seemed to be on the rise. He said worth scrutinising was the fact that most of the new infections had no history of travel outside the country’s borders.

In his opinion, Mabuza said the contributing factor to such a pattern in the new cases could be travelling freely within the kingdom. He said within the public transport, people stood a high risk of being infected and or infecting others as the virus was not easily detectable in its early stages.

“There is a need to restrict travel such that one has a permit or dire need to travel to avoid large gatherings and interactions in city centres as commuters practise minimal precautionary measures.”

  He said this posed a major risk to companies’ human resource, as they were likely to contract the disease through interaction with such individuals. Mabuza said employees who had minimal risk of contracting the disease were those who were being ferried by their employers as it minimised travel and interaction.

“This was an appropriate decision as the objective is to save lives. The health of the nation is essential in order for it to rejuvenate the economy once the effects of the virus have subsided.”
Given what had been happening following the extension, Mabuza said the mentality of society was not cognisant of the challenges.

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