South Africa: Zorro Ramaphosa Frees You Up, but Just a Little

President Cyril Ramaphosa wears a face mask as he begins his address to the nation on April 23, 2020.
analysis

The coronavirus still trumps the economy as President Cyril Ramaphosa introduces a system of load shedding-like levels to restart the economy.

At the end of his fourth national address on Covid-19, President Cyril Ramaphosa dropped the serious to engage in some mask modelling - except that his covering, in beautiful cloth, got stuck around his eyes. He looked like a coronavirus-era Zorro: where even the most heroic leaders are being blindsided by the pesky ball of RNA with pointy bits.

The economy is in a tailspin and one million jobs (and climbing) are likely to go to the wall as the viral slump hits. All industry associations have reported to Ramaphosa and the picture is already dire. In marathon Nedlac meetings over the past week, the president has heard that 15% of large firms in agriculture, the chemical sector, construction and global business services, and 25% of retailers could shut up shop as South Africa enters a depression.

The numbers for small and medium-sized enterprises he heard were even more dispiriting.

Sector pundits showed him the economic death spiral that Covid-19 was dragging in its wake, and that in tourism (75% of SMEs), transport (65%), clothing retail (55%), mining (45%),...

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

X