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Latest GDP figures have laid bare the grim reality of COVID-19’s economic effects, revealing an unprecedented 51% decline in economic activity in the second quarter of this year (quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted and annualised).
The coronavirus is an opportunity to end the war with nature. It's a moment to be humble and realise our finitude in a wondrous and infinite natural order. COVID-19 pushed an already weak and crisis-ridden global economy over the edge. Massive value has been erased from crashing stock market prices. Many commentators have talked about the return of economic conditions similar to the great financial crash of 2007-2009.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise sharply in South Africa, employers will be under increased pressure to ensure that their workers are operating under conditions of safety and protection. Companies are required to ensure their strict compliance with the various Acts and COVID-19 Regulations, including the Occupational Health & Safety Act, Labour Act, Consumer Protection Act, Disaster Management Act and more.
After a few months of COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa, there is no doubt that somehow all the rules seem to have changed for civil society, and indeed also for the world of business at large. Businesses across the world have had to quickly adapt to their respective COVID-19 regulations with South Africa having become known as a country with some of the strictest Covid-19 regulations in place in an attempt to flatten the COVID-19 curve, and save lives.
With the increasing number of COVID-19 infections, employers must deal with employees who test positive for the virus, those who come into contact with individuals who test positive, and those who present with COVID-19 related symptoms. It is therefore important for employers to understand when sick leave must be used.
First they came for the Tempo, and I did not speak out — Because I wasn’t crazy about Tempo. Then they came for the Lays Salt and Vinegar Chips, and I did not speak out - Because I was always more of a 'Lightly Salted' man.
It is unfortunate that President Cyril Ramaphosa did not use his 17 June announcement of modifications to South Africa’s level 3 lockdown as an opportunity to end the ill-considered ban on tobacco and related products. Appropriately, on the same day, Africa Check confirmed that the government is losing around R35 million per day in excise taxes for tobacco products.
The Minister of Employment and Labour has issued a revised COVID-19 Direction on Health & Safety in the Workplace. The Direction applies to all workplaces except mines, ships, boats or cranes and any other workplace which is regulated by a different direction on health and safety.
The South African economy, like many emerging and developing economies, has high levels of poverty. As with many such countries, there are three primary objectives to reducing poverty, unemployment and inequity. These three objectives take precedence over almost all other goals.
The Supplementary Budget 2020 was tabled to Parliament on 24 June 2020 by South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.