Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has described the lockdown as an opportunity for the country’s leadership and large businesses to stand together by contributing financially towards the fight against the coronavirus.
BUSA says it will be donating 33% of its directors’ fees to the coronavirus solidarity fund, following Ramaphosa’s lead. BUSA president Sipho Pityana says the economic impact of the pandemic is going to be significant.
“The impact is going to be quite dire for the poor and marginalised. This is a moment that calls upon all of us to be in solidarity with each other and stand together. So, the gesture is to join the remarkable, inspiring leadership of the president and his cabinet colleagues in taking a pay cut for the period of the next 3 months. I said I would do the same and my director colleagues have already indicated their intention to join. We all have to share the pain that comes with this to make sure that we stand together as South Africans,” says Pityana.
Private sectors weigh in on the fight against COVID-19:
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) says it will use the coming days to evaluate how it will embark on risk-adjusted measures that can enable a phased recovery of the economy, allowing the return to operation of certain sectors under strictly controlled conditions”.
CEO of SACCI Allan Mukoki explains:
Mkhize lauds progress in slowing spread of COVID-19
The minister also announced that the number of positive cases has increased to 2003 with 24 deaths. He says many of the 24 people who have died from the coronavirus also had other underlying conditions such as heart disease, cancers and pneumonia. He says there has been 410 recoveries and some 73 028 tests were conducted.
South Africa has shown flattening of the rate of infections since the imposition of the lockdown and Mkhize says the country could follow the trend of some Asian nations that have been able to bring the spread of COVID-19 under control.
But Mkhize says it is up to every South African to join the fight against COVID-19. He says it is essential that South Africans obey the lockdown regulations, maintain good hygiene and maintain social distancing as much as possible.
The Health Minister has thanked President Cyril Ramaphosa for his leadership in extending the lockdown period to the end of April.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended South Africa’s 21 days national lockdown by two more weeks. He announced this in a television address on Thursday evening.
The President says there’s compelling evidence that the lockdown is working.
“If we end the lockdown too soon or too abruptly we risk a massive and uncontrollable resurgence of the disease we risk reversing the gains that we have made over the last few weeks and rendering meaningless the great sacrifices that we have all made. Fellow South Africans this evening I stand before you to ask you to endure a little longer.”
Below is an infographic on the economic measures taken for lockdown extension: