The further relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions by South Africa's government to allow more economic activity to resume after a nationwide lockdown has led to a nine percent improvement in turnover among small and medium enterprises, a survey released on Friday showed.
small business financial platform Yoco's Small Business Recovery Monitor showed that as of August 27, turnover was at 80 percent versus levels before the outbreak of the coronavirus in South Africa, which saw the government impose a 'level 5' down lockdown, shutting down all but essential social and economic activity from March 27 to try and curb transmissions.
The government has since gradually eased lockdown regulations, moving down to 'level 2' earlier this month.
On Friday Yoco, the payments provider of over 80,000 small businesses, said the current turnover among these enterprises was up from 71 percent in the comparative period prior to level 2.
"As expected, the biggest impact has been in the hospitality industry, with turnover up 18 percent since level 2, and back at 76 percent versus pre-Covid," the platform said.
The turnover index is calculated using revenue from the first two weeks of March as a reference. This was before lockdown measures were put in place and small businesses were trading as normal.
A turnover index of 50 percent, for example, means that current revenue only represents 50 percent of the baseline, pre-lockdown level.
Yoco said the boost from looser Covid-19 regulations had been offset by the negative impact of load-shedding -- rolling blackouts implemented by South Africa's state owned electricity Eskom to avoid tripping the national grid after several of its generation units failed.