South Africa: Government's Massive Economic Injection to Deal With COVID-19 Crisis - Reactions

A South African government Twitter image, outlining an economic package announced on April 21, 2020.

Ramaphosa promises 'radical economic transformation' of the economy and gives the 'green light' to urgent structural reforms. The devil, as always, will lie in the details - and the management of petty politics and factionalism.

On Tuesday night (21 April) President Cyril Ramaphosa promised South Africans an economic response that was equal to the scale of the disruption it is causing.

In this regard, the government certainly came to the party.

The president announced a "massive social relief and economic support package" of R500-billion, which amounts to around 10% of GDP. This puts the South African relief effort - as a ratio of GDP - among those of developed nations such as the US.

The relief effort falls into three distinct phases - the first being the declaration of a National State of Disaster, which was accompanied by about R13-billion worth of tax, unemployment and SMME relief measures.

It soon became abundantly clear that this was but a drop in an ocean of need.

The second phase of measures, announced on Tuesday night, focused on additional financial support for the health effort, the relief of hunger and distress, support for companies and workers and lastly, the phased reopening of the...

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