South African Business Groups Oppose Hard Lockdown, Times Says

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South Africa’s businesses say the further tightening of lockdown restrictions will hurt the economic recovery, the Sunday Times reported.

Further measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus would need to take into account the impact on the country’s still-fragile growth, Martin Kingston, vice president of Business Unity South Africa, the country’s biggest business grouping, said in the report. South Africa can’t afford a complete shutdown, he said.

“There are significant impacts in terms of reduction in gross domestic product if we go through level 3 to level 4 restrictions,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “There is obviously scope for higher levels of intervention, but that would also have a potentially meaningful impact upon economic activity.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to address the country Sunday evening on government plans to check Covid-19 infections. The country, which initially imposed a strict lockdown, is seeking to prevent a third wave of cases fueled by the more contagious Delta variant, acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said Saturday.

“Please don’t restrict businesses any further, just don’t, because we are not a first world economy like those in Europe or America, which bounce back with relative ease,” the paper also quoted Sandile Zungu, president of the Black Business Council, as saying.

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