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Coronavirus Interrupts Local Businesses

PAULINE DIKUELO
Fear of the unknown has hit local entrepreneurs as their stock is currently stranded in China following the outbreak of Coronavirus.

The coronavirus, which appeared in Wuhan, China in recent weeks, has infected thousands of people with hundreds losing lives as the city is currently on lockdown.

The outbreak is said to be hampering China’s growth as businesses have shut down thus weakening their domestic demand.

A number of small businesses locally, who have been getting their stock from China, fear that the situation might get worse as the virus is spreading across the world.

Recently a lot of locals have been warming up to the China market as the preferred choice of importing materials, clothes, machinery, electronics, to mention a few.

One local entrepreneur, Ododobane Molefhe fears that he might be forced to spend more money to complete his project as he is still waiting for some construction and electrical materials that he ordered from China.

“This is my first project and I decided to buy materials in China because they sell unique construction materials,”

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Molefhe said.

“My client liked the pictures I showed and I cannot compromise by getting them something else. However, I fear that it might not be the case due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus.”

Another entrepreneur, Nnuku Ratsela who trades by selling clothes from China said the disease has interrupted her routine thus affecting her business.

“It is the uncertainty of what if they do not get a cure immediately, it means there will be a slight draw back. In our line of business we take deposits from some individuals to purchase their stuff and then get the balance. Some clients have been impatient because the clothes are now stranded in China,” she said.

Mounting evidence has also shown that the outbreak of the disease is disrupting China’s economy. Latest developments have also indicated that the outbreak is causing a strain in the airlines with some closing routes to China.



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