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News: Covid-19 could be part of our lives for 2 years.

News: Covid-19 could be part of our lives for 2 years.

Business lobby group, Business for South Africa, has urged South Africans and businesses to continue with precautions in work and public life as the economic devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, Fin24 reported.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, B4SA said it expected the national Covid-19 infection rate to peak during August 2020, while daily mortalities will peak by late-August or early September.

B4SA said South African businesses were already in distress and it now expects about 1.5 million further job losses by the end of the year.

“The steep and dramatic surge in new infections indicates that we are now well along the upward trajectory of the infection curve, with South Africa recording the fifth-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world,” the group said.

The head of B4SA’s economic working group, Martin Kingston, said the organisation expected the infection rate to have “a long tail-off” and for the virus to remain a reality of daily life for up to two more years.

“Against our latest modelling scenarios, we expect that it will take a minimum of two years for the South African economy to recover to pre-Covi-19 levels, keeping in mind that South Africa’s economy was already weak at the start of 2020,” said Kingston.

Leadership and workplace culture could be “powerful factors” in ensuring employee and customer protection, said the group.

With the possibility of the coronavirus remaining in South Africa for a number of years, Kingston indicated that economic reforms would also be important, Business Tech reported.

B4SA has also published a proposal document indicating on the areas that the government should focus on to kickstart these reforms. These include:

  • Tackling crime and corruption;
  • Improving the ease of doing business;
  • Mobilising large-scale infrastructure projects;
  • SOE reform and rationalisation;
  • Clarity on land reform;
  • Education and skills development;
  • Review of trade policies;
  • Labour law reform;
  • Simplifying mining investment regulations;
  • Aligning the national energy strategy across sectors;
  • Maximising connectivity through telecoms;
  • Fiscal inclusion and financial support.

 


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