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South African Retail Sales Rise, but Retailers Brace for Pain

A shopper and sales assistant at a mall in Cape Town, South Africa. Shutterstock
A shopper and sales assistant at a mall in Cape Town, South Africa. Shutterstock

South African retail sales for May rose 15.8 percent year-on-year, up 1.5 percent compared to April, Statistics South Africa said, according to a report from South African newspaper, The Daily Maverick.

This sliver of good news for the country’s retailers comes as the country is currently combatting the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant with a strict lockdown, which includes restrictions on gatherings and curfews. Over the last week, retailers in South Africa have also been impacted by civil unrest after the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report estimates that the national GDP growth could be 0.4 percentage points lower this year than previously expected due to the disruption and an estimated 50,000 jobs could be at risk.

Further Reading: Malls Looted in South Africa Following Zuma’s Imprisonment

More than 200 shopping malls have been looted in the wake of protests that erupted in South Africa following the imprisonment of former president, Jacob Zuma.

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