South Africa: Resetting South Africa - From Locking Down to Scaling Up


The social contract we entered into to defeat Covid-19 is not over. It came in several parts. Inasmuch as we accepted that the lockdown would destroy jobs and livelihoods, this contract contained an implicit promissory note that in return, and after the lockdown is lifted, those jobs would be recreated. Resetting and restructuring our economy is integral to the next stage of Covid-19 prevention.

On Monday 1 June South Africa started a new phase of our relationship with Covid-19, called Level 3. Under Level 3, schools are due to reopen (in theory), most businesses return to work, alcohol is on sale again (on four days a week) and believers are allowed to attend religious gatherings.

But on the very same day, the number of new Covid-19 infections leapt by 1,674 to 34,357, despite the reported 10 to 14 day backlog in processing Covid-19 samples. The number of deaths grew by 22 to 705. Clearly the worst is yet to come. For these reasons, on many levels, relaxing the lockdown feels counter to common sense.

It is occurring not after we have passed the peak of Covid-19, but long before it.

It is occurring not because we have...

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