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The markets worldwide are in turmoil and economic forecasts predict an unprecedented global recession. Fear about the impending financial crisis are intensified due to your exposure to the 2008 recession. The daily anxiety feels very real, amplified by the international news about COVID-19 pandemic. How can you ensure you will make it through the uncertainty?

 

The opinion shapers of the world considered the COVID-19 threat for many months. 2020 started with the idea (perceived promise and ‘prophecies’) that this will be the year of a great prosperous economic turnaround for the country. No one have thought that the country would be shut down and everyone would be afraid to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor or hospital.

 

After advising clients for nearly 35 years, I thought I had seen it all. The 1988, 2008 and 2018 crises, but then COVID-19 trumped it all. 

 

Now is not the time to bury your head in the sand. Unprecedented times like this one, call for immediate action. We have no idea how long, or how deep this crisis is going to last. Some parts of the country will start to move to a stage 4. Positive progress can only happen if the majority of people (two thirds) still have to stay home, and we adhere to curfews. 

 

Firstly, to be able to be successful you have to survive this ordeal.  You cannot be well and succeed if you are worried all the time. Secondly, the only way to be successful is to be proactive!

 

This means:

  1. Look for the light even when others just see doom, gloom and darkness.
  2. Nobody knows how ugly the situation is going to be, so prepare for the worst.
  3. Do not bury your head in the sand; do not make hasty emotional decisions. Stay rational!
  4. Your whole household must work together to decide on actions you need to take to protect you and your family. Do not try to do this alone.
  5. You are not alone; there are millions of individual economic crises. Reality is that people may start to lose their homes, cars, investments, possessions and still sit with a lot of debt.
  6. Many struggle to pay their rent, electricity and put food on the table, as well as their debt payments.
  7. Make the wisest financial choices possible. There are no guarantees, but doing nothing will not change anything.

 

It is time for tough decisions and people and companies will come through this better and stronger.

 

The question remains, have you done everything you possibly could to make sure you, your business and your family make it through this COVID-19 economic crisis as safely as possible? That is a great start.

I want to highlight a number of recommendations and ideas for you, but remember these are suggestions. Each person, family, business or community’s situation is different and it is important to get sound advice.

 

Consult a trusted, properly registered financial adviser; do not take self-made WhatsApp, Facebook and social media gurus’ recommendations.

 

Subscribe to our newsletter AFS Informer.

 

What should I do? Go to Step 1

 

At the heart of all trauma or incidents, even the COVID-19 pandemic, there is always a financial impact, which could be devastating for the individuals, companies and organisations concerned. This impact affects victims and secondary victims irrespective of their status, race, culture or any other demographic denominator.  

In most cases, it is impossible to make enough provision, and to brace for the impact and the aftermath of trauma.

We started this year with a lot of enthusiasm and hope of what this year will bring. Hoping and praying that 2020 will bring us breakthroughs that was not happening in the past decade. This hope was short lived.

The following relief funds have been made available to date. You will have to study them, and see which ones are relevant to your specific circumstances:

  1. The Department of Small Business development announced a number of interventions for small businesses including a Debt Relief Financing Scheme and Growth Resilience Facility. The COVID-19 interventions measures include: SMME Relief Finance Schemes, Business Growth and Resilience Facility, Restructuring of SEFA-funded loans and Informal Sector address. Register your business online to begin the application process.
  2. The Solidarity Response Fund was one of the first safety nets put in place to aid small businesses and people in need during COVID-19 and the 21 day lockdown. Johann Rupert’s fund, the Sukuma Relief Programme, to which he pledged R1 billion received over 10 000 applications in three days and has since closed for applications.
  3. The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) have launched a R3.5 billion COVID-19 relief fund. This fund will compensate workers in the industry.
  4. The Youth Business Relief Fund “will assist youth entrepreneurs from operational costs, paying labour costs, rental”. Apply online here
  5. For people working in the tourism industry, a COVID-19 Tourism Relief Fund has been put in place. Applications are open, apply online here.
  6. Direct funding application links:
  7. Major banks like FNB, Standard bank, Nedbank, Capitec, Investec and Absa have set up payment holidays and relief schemes to assist clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact your bank for more detail on their requirements.  

A summary of all help available is available on: https://www.fundinghub.co.za/covid19-resources

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is available to be of service.

All of a sudden many people find themselves in an unaccustomed and disconcerting workspace. Home!

Your new workspace can be filled with very busy “colleagues” and distractions. On the other side you may be totally isolated and alone, which can be equally distracting. Working from home is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.

The involuntary quarantine causes many mental health issues to surface, because we are social beings. This is even true of the self-proclaimed introverts, because people need social interactions. We don’t realize the value of the interaction and exchanges between colleagues during the course of a normal working day.

The issues that can come to the foreground from being forced to work from home in the midst of a world-wide pandemic are:

  • The change in your mind-set from “living” to being in survival mode. This shift in mind-set is the clearest in people binge shopping for so-called essential goods, leaving shop shelves empty. The empty shop shelves aggravates the feelings of anxiety and despair. People who cannot afford to stock pile are even more anxious, because their situation turns out to be more hopeless.
  • Increase anxiety takes a toll for the worse on your health. Stress and continued anxiety erode your wellbeing and leave your general immune response wanting.
  • Working from home can decrease your job and financial security. In the process where decentralization wins ground, people’s fear for becoming redundant increases.
  • The increased sense of insecurity leads to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
  • In reality it becomes more difficult to distract oneself from existing mental health issues and this promotes social withdrawal and loneliness.
  • On top of all these reactions there are the fear for the lives of loved ones. We do not know how safe, our children, elderly parents and loved ones working in emergency and medical services are.
  • Many people also do not know how loved ones are doing when they work somewhere outside the country.

Read more: Working from home? What a scary thought!

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