Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has welcomed the dramatic efforts by President Cyril Ramaphosa to restrict the spread of COVID-19 commonly known as coronavirus by declaring this pandemic as a national disaster.

Business has applauded the decisive leadership and appreciates the president’s appeal to the business sector and other sectors of society for support. This issue cuts across politics, race and religion and only by uniting as a country can we minimise the damage and then finally overcome it.

BLSA CEO Busi Mavuso said the president must be commended for his swift response in announcing strict measures to tackle this crisis which has proven to be a human threat.

“We fully agree with the president that given the speed at which the virus is spreading, it is now clear that the world is facing a medical emergency far deadlier than what we anticipated and that no country will escape the wrath of this unfortunate disaster unless stringent measures are taken as announced by the president,” highlighted Mavuso. BLSA has also noted with grave concern the risks associated with this outbreak which has been wreaking havoc across the globe with confirmed cases of more than 60 in this country.

BLSA said this virus which has been rattling markets, has also added more economic fears to the already struggling economy – which is now in technical recession and continues to be plagued by load shedding.

BLSA has also appealed to all businesses to ensure proper hygiene control since the surest way to limit the economic damage, is to limit the spread of the disease itself and ultimately ensure coronavirus-free South Africa.

“As business we are looking forward to the NEDLAC special executive council meeting on the impact of the COVID-19 in South Africa today as well await the fiscal measures that are being finalised as mentioned by the President last night,” added Mavuso.