13 Nov BSA – Daily Update 12 November 20
B4SA CONCERNED ABOUT JOBS, SUPPORTS EASING OF LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS
Business for South Africa (B4SA), the alliance of volunteers formed to support the national response to COVID-19, has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement about the easing of certain restrictions, which bolsters the much-needed efforts to boost and stimulate economic activity.
However, B4SA has highlighted the importance for South Africa’s economic recovery to implement infrastructure projects, as soon as possible, to boost economic growth and job creation. This imperative has become more abundantly clear following today’s release of Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the third quarter of 2020. Quarter on quarter, the survey recorded a 7.5% increase in the number of unemployed people, which is the highest rate recorded since the start of the QLFS in 2008. Expanded unemployment has reached its highest ever level of 43.1% demonstrating the need for the country to urgently pivot onto a sustainable inclusive growth trajectory.
B4SA is advancing the numerous activities outlined in its Economic Recovery Strategy and remains committed to supporting the President’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. Many parts of South Africa’s economy still remain extremely constrained and are contributing far less than their potential. The resumption of international travel for business and leisure purposes, as well as the resumption of full trading for the alcohol industry is a welcome and critical relief to those sectors. Easing the alcohol and international travel restrictions will ensure that these sectors can continue their respective rebuilding efforts and enhance the role that they can play in the revival of the country’s economy.
Martin Kingston, B4SA’s Steering Committee Chairman, said: “It is important that the immediate threat of entering into a higher lockdown level has now been removed. We fully understand the threat remains. However, business needs this certainty to ensure a return to some form of normality, albeit in a COVID environment, as quickly as possible.”
B4SA also fully supports the President’s stance in reminding the nation that it is critical for every individual to maintain good hygiene habits, practice social distancing and wear a mask wherever necessary, including while out in public. Kingston also echoed the President’s request and encouraged all South Africans to: “Download the COVID Alert SA app. We encourage all South African’s to download the application, which will assist in making the virus more visible and as well as breaking the chain of transmission.”
It is pleasing that the Special COVID-19 Grant has been extended for a further three months, until January 2021, providing additional and significant support to millions of South Africans. B4SA also welcomes the decision to extend the COVID TERS benefit for a further month and is hopeful that it may be extended further in due course.
How We Did It
“…insights into radical collaboration”
The B4SA social partners invite you to participate in a discussion that showcases how working cooperatively during the height of the Covid-19 crisis delivered exciting new local manufacturing, or localisation, results. When Covid-19 struck South Africa, only 8% of our medical equipment – including PPE – was produced locally; almost everything was imported. With global supply chains clogged and prices skyrocketing we had to ‘make a plan’ as local shortages risked thousands of lives and livelihoods. Through radical collaboration, within just months we birthed 54 procurement-ready local PPE manufacturers, compliant with international standards where needed, helping to create and support hundreds of jobs. This proves that localisation can and should work.
Join Tebogo Makube (DTIC), Tony Ehrenreich (COSATU) & Ross Boyd (Innovation Stream Lead B4SA), as they share their experiences of working together to enable local manufacturing of PPE and related items during the initial lockdown periods. The discussion will be facilitated by Timothy Schultz (B4SA).
|Date||Wednesday 25 November 2020|
|Time||12h00 – 13h00|
|Meeting link||Zoom meeting|
This webinar is intended for members of the media, and academics from all fields. As the country moves into the next phase of living with Covid-19, what was learned at the peak of the first storm has much on which to build, as we navigate a new blueprint for South Africa’s people, and the economy. Note: The Webinar is limited to the first 100 participants that enter the meeting room.