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The rapid changes experienced over the past few months and leading to the current relaxation of lockdown levels, has resulted in the South African economy’s recovery taking the shape of a ‘swoosh’ of a fast decline then a quick recovery that will take time to be fully realised.
On Tuesday Stats SA announced that SA’s GDP had contracted 51% between April and June (using annualised quarter on quarter numbers – in other words, this is a 17% decrease for the quarter) as a result of the lockdown imposed in response to Covid-19. The contraction was shocking – but not unexpected. Given that government took the decision to implement one of the harshest and longest lockdowns globally, the severity of the economic contraction should not come as a surprise.
Real GDP surprised the market consensus to the downside in the second quarter of 2020 as the effects of the pandemic and the associated lockdown measures ate into economic activity. Growth contracted by 51% q/q saar and printed lower than the August 2020 Reuters Econometer median growth forecast of 44.5% p/p saar.
Our 2020 Global Entrepreneurship Survey found that entrepreneurs who had a website were less likely to close their businesses during COVID-19 lockdowns than those without one. We also discovered that those with a website were more optimistic about future growth, with 31 percent projecting growth of at least 50 percent versus only 23 percent of those without a website.
Life in a Time of Plague is the story of Britain under the first 75 days of its unprecedented COVID-19 lockdown, seen from the author's rural East Sussex valley home. From the refuge of a seemingly idyllic country idyll, the book monitors in bleak and forensic detail the failure of the Government to protect Britain, and its woeful response at every stage of the pandemic.
An interview with Lauren Salt, Executive, Employment, ENSafrica, and Dr Ivor Blumenthal, CEO, ArkKonsult, discussing the most recent changes to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS), also referred to as UIF TERS - specifically the new directive 2.3.1, the implications for employers claiming benefits and the future of the COVID-19 relief scheme.
An interview with Jason Sive, CEO, Mobicred, and Dr Ivor Blumenthal, CEO, ArkKonsult, discussing how shopping behaviour adoption rates and purchasing trends have altered as a result of the lockdown.
An interview with Jacques van Wyk, Director, Werksmans Attorneys, and Dr Ivor Blumenthal, CEO, ArkKonsult, discussing an article penned by Bradley Workman-Davies, Director, Werksmans Attorneys, in the August/September edition of BusinessBrief, apropos an important recent judgement in the Johannesburg High Court which has provided some clarity with regard to no-work no-pay during the lockdown.
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.
In March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day ‘hard’ lockdown, later to be known as a level 5 lockdown. It certainly caused flutter in the financial markets, forcing almost the entire economy to cease operations and people to be confined to their places of residence.