Economists say businesses and investors are concerned about threats of another national shutdown this week. The country’s security forces remain on high alert amid threats of a national shutdown that could again destabilise economic activity in some parts of the country.
Industry experts say the recent threats hamper business confidence that is already fragile and further dampen economic recovery plans.
Chief Economist at PWC, Lulu Kruger, says the recent call for shutdown is already having an impact on the currency and markets.
“It is also already having an impact on the currency, although there are a bunch of factors that are currently playing a role with the currency. People are worried that this might spiral out of control and we see a repeat of what we have seen in KZN (KwaZulu-Natal) and Gauteng in July. The fact of the matter is that any uncertainty at this time is not sending any good news to investors, locally as well as abroad, that are looking at the South African economy,” says Kruger.
Video: Impact of a national shutdown on business confidence
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) says their members are also concerned about the shutdown. They are calling on communities to work with law enforcement agencies to stop any intended mayhem.
“We are not going to be swayed. South Africa is a functioning democracy. Anyone has a right to oppose any political problems, provided they do so in line with the law. What we are against as business absolutely is the mayhem, the destruction, the looting the stealing, and the creation of a very unstable environment that discourages investors. But we can’t be intimidated by the minority, the majority of South Africans. 60 million are very peaceful and loving people. ”
Video: Police are on high alert:
Economist Davie Roodt says economic growth remains under pressure and the recent threats are not helping.
“As things stand at the moment, economic growth remains under pressure – which will lead to further unemployment and poverty in South Africa, further threats of riots will further increase this mood that we are experiencing and until confidence in government is improved, I’m afraid the economy will continue to perform weakly,” says Roodt.
Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) Chief Executive Officer, Cas Coovadia, says international rating agencies will be monitoring these sorts of threats closely. They have in the past raised issues around uncertainties.
“The majority of people in the country seem to be more concerned about continuing to do the work they need to do to earn an income and continue to work with each other to navigate our way through very, very difficult times. Our message to business would be that, you should not panic about these calls. The security has assured us that they have mobilised sufficient forces. What we do urge is that government act swiftly to make sure that the suspects that they say they have identified are arrested,” says Coovadia.