The planned mass shutdown of Chinese factories in Newcastle is officially underway, with a few factories shutting their doors on Monday, August 3.
This follows a statement issued by the Factory Co-Operative on July 30. The purpose of the shutdown is one which sees factory owners standing in solidarity. Uniting in a common stand against the stigma and violence which is often targeted at the factory owners.
The mass shutdown was meant to officially begin on Monday, August 3, and end on August 16. Meaning that all operations conducted by the factories would come to a grinding halt for two weeks.
However, Alex Liu explains the planned shutdown had to initially be postponed, before being conducted in planned stages.
“This would give factory owners to prepare their staff, as well as their retail customers and suppliers,” he explains.
As a number of factories have begun shutting down, Liu explains more factories will be shutting down on Tuesday, August 11.
While the factories are uniting, Liu says it is important to highlight that the shutdown is no longer focusing solely on the protests and violent crimes.
“Our main concern is the increase in infections, with Newcastle being a hotspot in KZN. The recommended period for the shutdown is two weeks, as to protect the staff of factories and the owners from infection and further stigmatisation.”
According to the KZN Department of Health, there are currently 4 871 cases and 3 740 recoveries in the Amajuba District. The number of COVID-19 related deaths stands at 63.
With the increase of COVID-19 cases, Liu says the planned shutdown is imperative. Not only for factory owners to stand in solidarity against crime, but also to curb the spread of the coronavirus.