- Cyril Ramaphosa, speaking as the chair of the African Union, has warned against a surge in Covid-19 infections
- A spike in cases could lead to a second wave of infections and require more stringent lockdown measures
- The economic impact of a second wave would only serve to worsen the already immense impact of the pandemic
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President Cyril Ramaphosa has addressed African nations as the chairperson African Union, warning against a second wave in Covid-19 cases.
Ramaphosa urged countries to avoid a surge of infections which could necessitate a more strict lockdown:
“The pandemic has shown a great deal of resilience and countries that have experienced a decline in infections have also encountered surges in infections, which has made them revisit the lockdown measures.
This scenario, Ramaphosa explained, must be avoided at all costs despite optimism that the continent will manage to avoid it at all costs:
“We must try to avoid that scenario in Africa. We remain optimistic that the momentum will not be lost and we will ensure that all outstanding work is completed."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Ramaphosa's focus has now shifted to repairing the economic damage done by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
Unveiling the government's approach to jumpstarting growth and development amid the crisis, the President outlined the state's gameplan.
The plan covers four key interventions namely a focus on infrastructure, energy generation capacity, employment and an industrial growth drive to boost a flagging manufacturing industry.
In addition to these interventions, Ramaphosa announced an extension for the Special Covid-19 Grant for a further three months to 'provide support to those in society who continue to face hunger and distress'.
Hugo Pienaar, Chief Economist at the Bureau for Economic Research, has weighed in with his expert opinion on President Cyril Ramaphosa's plan to breathe life back into the economy.
Pienaar warned that the recovery plan may be on the right track but it remains extremely costly:
"The recovery plan, correctly in our view, is infrastructure and jobs-rich, but it is costly. The employment initiative is very much a public sector plan. It is not clear that the R100 billion cost tag over three years for this has already been fully budgeted for. The June Supplementary budget did include about R25 billion (R19.6 bullion provisionally) for jobs in 2020/21. The funds for the next two years are in question."
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