Our economies are very fragile right now, especially the South African economy. The falling commodity prices in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of borders restricting the tourism industry has indeed disrupted the South African economy. The South African currency is pegged to the US dollar and has unfortunately been downgraded to a ‘junk status’.
Having said this the lock-down was very much needed as people and their health do take precedence. The challenging times however do bring out the best in people especially when stretched outside our comfort zones.
The BPO industry for one have come together in a most remarkable way to adapt to the current situation and thrive while acknowledging the impact of COVID-19. Over the last month there’s been an increase in the number of subscribers taking out data packages, purchasing routers, laptops, etc so that they can either work from home or from hotels. Even the hotel industry is benefitting from call centre staff booked in for work purposes. More call centres are investing huge sums of money in innovative technologies such as AI, ML, etc so that essential services can continue efficiently while adhering to lockdown. Uber is also doing well out of this as well as food delivery services.
A big shout out to the BPO industry that continues to service the elderly and vulnerable by thinking outside the box.