We’re sitting in November of 2020, probably about halfway through a global pandemic. This time last year, there was no indication of the crisis that was about to hit us! The pandemic in South Africa has been hard for everyone, not only those affected by the virus itself, but also for those affected by the lockdowns. One reason is because we didn’t have a robust economy to start with, and although we were subjected to the most draconian lockdown in the world we were not given much in terms of stimulus cheques. Some countries got hundreds of dollars. Ours gave R350 a MONTH – only to some people. One could say that we were lucky to be able to work through the pandemic – and we were. The problem is that most of our clients received no income for 5 – 7 months. I don’t know of anyone in the virtual industry who received any government assistance at all.
With this in mind it seems like a good time to take stock of our industry and where the economy is right now. I would say at this moment, there are ashes. We are trying to rise from them. What happens next depends on the virus, the lockdowns, and our own energy, drive and passion. There are small indications that the economy is reopening, and somewhat inexplicably, the government has now decided to reopen borders, which means that during the December period everything will be pretty much ‘normal’ here except for the virus for those who feel safe to navigate the world. (Please wear your masks, sanitize, etc).
Am I scared because borders are reopening? As a high risk, immuno compromised person, with an immuno compromised husband – yes! I implore the powers that be that this doesn’t bring on a second wave.
Am I excited? As a business owner, yes.
We have also noticed that many VAs are quoting unsustainably low prices to do the work. This is very bad for our industry. Please set your rates to be in accordance with the recommendations given by SAFREA.
Who knows what will happen next. None of us know. With the news of vaccines in development showing results, the spark of a light has been ignited.
My colleague, Alison Fourie, and I, have come up with a social media campaign to try to reignite the virtual industry in SA and implore you to join in with us. The hashtag is simply #supportvirtualsa. Please use it in your posts promoting our industry.