Day 41, going on 42. I’m cracking; like that delicate crack that emerges at the top of the cake while baking in the oven. As poetic as it sounds, it’s painful. I don’t have the energy to bake anymore.
And in case you’re wondering after my last post, decaffeinated coffee is out. Now it’s just tea, black tea. This lockdown has messed with what was my natural biological routine of “coffee first”.
That right there is a reality check. Because I know it makes me sound spoilt and privileged. Under these circumstances, I will accept such criticisms. I have a roof over my head, food and I have a warm bed, never mind the insomnia.
Being stuck at home is a struggle for me. Maybe you are struggling too. But are we really? Struggle is what the unemployed and retrenched are going through. Struggle is what those who aren’t permitted to work are going through. Struggle is what those who aren’t sure if they will have a job to go back to are going through.
Data released this week by the South African Revenue Service – SARS – is telling.
SARS reported an increase of 1 622 employees retrenched in April 2020 compared to April last year – that’s an increase of almost 9%. Total retrenchments for April stand at just over 20 000.
Overall, SARS expects a revenue shortfall of about R285bn this financial year. That figure is 15% to 20% short of earlier forecasts. It could change, but not for the better.
A chill goes down my spin. My stomach churns. As a South African, I feel the pain of my fellow citizens. I try to help where I can. But it will never be enough to soothe their sorrows. And so, I pull my blanket a little closer and bow my head in prayer. These are the first words that come to my lips…
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika – God bless Africa.