South Africa: Private Sector Ready to Assist in Economic Recovery

opinion

Let me start by stating the obvious: the Covid-19 crisis has been devastating to our economy. Two million people have lost their jobs, the economy will shrink by 8% this year and government revenue is expected to fall by 14%. This is the crisis that an economic recovery plan must confront. It is unprecedented in our lifetimes.

The economic recovery plan that President Cyril Ramaphosa presented last week sets out a series of steps that, on paper, will go far in kickstarting growth. But, as is often said, South Africa is good at making plans but bad at implementing them.

Organised business, of which I am a part, has been highly active since the start of this crisis. Through Business for South Africa, many businesses volunteered to support government and the public through the crisis. B4SA created an extensive plan to guide a recovery, and Business Unity South Africa engaged with other social partners through Nedlac to develop a jointly agreed plan to present to the president. From mobilising global supply chains and sourcing PPE, to switching production to produce hand sanitiser, many businesses stepped quickly up to the plate to deal with the most urgent challenges. Business, along with...

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