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Title: The Covid-19 pandemic and the challenges encountered by the Southern Ndebele crafts entrepreneurs due to closure of the tourism sector.
Authors: Bhuda, Thulisile Monicca.
Koitsiwe, Motheo.
School of Development Studies
Keywords: Crafts.;Tourism.;Ndebele women.;Government.;COVID-19.;Businesses.;Entrepreneurs.
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Ife Centre for Psychological Studies/Services
Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic had a terrible and disastrous impact on the tourism industry in South Africa, with consequences seen throughout the country. Nonetheless, the pandemic's negative local effects were particularly severe in areas of South Africa where tourism is a vital part of the local economy. This paper aimed to investigate the effects of Covid-19 on the selling of Ndebele crafts to local and international tourists. It focused on the issues that Ndebele crafts entrepreneurs have faced since the lockdown was implemented in March 2020. The study applied qualitative research methods to gain insights on the selling of Ndebele crafts and challenges faced due to Covid-19. Focus group interviews were conducted with Ndebele crafts entrepreneurs who have years of experience in selling and making the crafts. The findings of the study indicate that the Ndebele women who are custodians of traditional crafts use tourism to their advantage by selling their beaded artefacts to tourists and allowing them to view the mural art in their homesteads for a certain fee. However, while the country attempted to adjust to a new normal, their businesses were forced to close for a period of time as a result of Covid19, resulting in a significant financial loss. Despite the fact that some state lockdown restrictions were removed, Ndebele entrepreneurs were unable to recover losses since people were still unwilling to travel and spent their money on essential products, putting greater hardship on Ndebele women's businesses.
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