With the country sliding deeper into recession every week as many industries remain closed or operate at half capacity, the urgency grows to reduce restrictions on the economy. The state needs to ensure the health of both its people and the economy.
Business Leadership SA and JSE have launched an initiative to provide hygiene hampers to disadvantaged communities in Gauteng as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of all the flaws that Covid-19 promised to expose in the South African economy, the poor health of our state-owned enterprises was perhaps top of the pile.
Busisiwe Mavuso, the CEO of Business Leadership SA, says the government is in “disarray” and does not seem to grasp the magnitude of the economic crisis facing the country.
South Africa is facing a coronavirus-driven jobs bloodbath, with the Business for SA (B4SA) formation forecasting that up to four million jobs could be lost this year.
THE LOCKDOWN sometimes seems to blur the days into one as we are bombarded with dire news about the economy or the struggles of some of our oldest companies.
We are in a transformational economic crisis, as this is not merely one of a collapsing asset bubble in one of the world’s leading financial capitals but one that has an impact on all of us.
The bans on cigarette and alcohol sales have dramatically boosted the fortunes of criminal syndicates and even seen gangs expanding their activities into these markets as their regular criminal activities have been disrupted by the lockdown.
On Friday, the curtain finally starts to lift on what must rank as the most difficult period for a South African economy that has been through the worst over the past decade.
A virus like COVID-19 no doubt requires novel approaches to limiting its spread. Governments the world over have been caught unawares by this virus and its implications for its people and economies. While South Africa has seemingly done some good work in terms of immediate action to limit the spread of infection, the hard work is still far from over, especially when dealing with something with so many unknowns.
For more than a month, the economy has been put into a medically induced coma to stave off what would have been a much larger health catastrophe that would have collapsed already strained systems. The big bang has been avoided or delayed.
What was needed from government was decisive intervention in the face of an economy that is set to reel from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was delivered.