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.
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.
The interests of the health of our people and that of the overall economy have never been so finely pitted against each other as they are in the discussion about just when and at what pace we start opening up the economy.
The illicit trade of tobacco goods has long been a problem in South Africa and while it needs more attention from lawmakers, we need to question how much more profitable this illicit trading is becoming during the COVID-19 lockdown.
To understand the magnitude of the economic challenge facing the country over the next two years, one should compare our current state to the last global recession just over a decade ago.
Under our initial plans, this week would have been the last under lockdown. Yet that was always the best-case scenario as the lessons from China and Europe pointed to an extension, and so it has come to pass. For the rest of the month at least, we’ll remain in our homes as best we can.
What the South African economy is going through is as unprecedented for South Africa as it is for many other countries across the globe.
We need to consider the ramifications of the lockdown on the world once we win the war against Covid-19
THE Great Recession had a massive effect on employment around the world with some 34-million jobs being lost as a result of the near collapse of the financial sector after Lehman Bros folded in 2007. In South Africa, estimates are that about a million jobs were lost as a result of that recession.