Business Update


- Sasha Muller

In these unpreceden­ted times, business unusual has taken on a whole new meaning. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted business as we know it, indeed life as we know it, and sent the global economy into a deep recession.

South Africa has not escaped this crisis. In weighing up the cost to lives and livelihood­s, President Cyril Ramaphosa has been highly praised the world over for his timely and correct handling of the pandemic. Through a hard lockdown and slow lifting thereof, we have stemmed the flow of the virus, allowing much-needed time to prepare for what looks to be an extremely challengin­g time ahead.

Let’s face it, from the downgrades and business closures, to the rapidly increasing unemployme­nt figures and hunger crisis, things do not look good. But there is hope; we are a resilient people. The government has secured a R500-billion stimulus and relief package to address the social and economic fallout. There have been interest rate and tax cuts and increased liquidity in the financial system.

In this edition of Business Update, we unpack the new normal and what this means for the future of business in South Africa.

A strong theme running throughout is the role of SMMES in relaunchin­g the economy. The takeout is that these small businesses have the potential to lift us out of this quagmire, if the right measures are taken to curb the impact of Covid-19 on SMMES and break down barriers impeding small business. We need to use this crisis to rethink economic policies to put SMMES, and the country, back on a growth path.

Enjoy the read!

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