And here we go…
President @CyrilRamaphosa kicks off by addressing the nation as 'compatriots'.
A reminder that we are in this together and fighting a pandemic.
Urgent & dramatic measures taken absolutely necessary.
Tens of thousands of lives saved.
We are still at the start of this fight.
Our foremost task is to intensify public health response.
3465 confirmed cases. 58 people have sadly lost their lives.
2 million people have been screened so far.
Over 15000 referred for proper testing from this unprecedented public health action.
The pandemic needs an economic response that is equal to the scale of its destruction.
3 phases:
1. First phase started in mid-March
2. Second phase now: to stabilise the economy. Massive socio-economic package of R500billion (10% of GDP) to start.
3. Third phase is recovery.
OWN SIDE NOTE: SA's economic plan isn't just about COVID-19.
It's a longterm plan based on consultations with business, labour, the community, government, advisors, etc.
It's social relief, economic support and longterm rebuilding of the economy.
What will phase 2 (starting now) focus on?:
• Health sector support ramped up
• Relief for the hungry and most vulnerable
• Support for business - especially those in distress
• Phased reopening of the economy

SA has approached IMF, AfDB, IBRD, BRICS bank among others.
R20 billion will go directly to ramping up the covid-19 response.
Priorities: PPEs, intensified screening, ventilators, critical care units, additional bedding and staffing.
R20 billion towards municipalities to increase water and sanitation services and supplies.
Poverty and inequality have been further exacerbated by this pandemic.

Temporary 6-month coronavirus grant of R50 billion released.

What this will cover:
- Child support grants will go up by R300 in May, R500 extra from June - October
- Other grants: R250 extra per month.
Millions of South Africans, particularly those in the informal economy, are in dire need of urgent assistance.

People are hungry and in economic distress.
Department of Social Development, Solidarity Fund and NGOs partnering to distribute 250 000 food packages across the country.

SASSA will also provide food vouchers among other relief efforts.

Unscrupulous people manipulating the system must be dealt with.
Relief for workers set aside - including income support for workers whose employers are not able to pay them.

Loans, grants and other relief to SMMEs (including spaza shop ownerrs) among others.

Additional funds made available.
OWN SIDE NOTE: The budget as presented by the Minister of Finance delivered on 26 February 2020 was just substantially revised.

More emphasis on uplifting the poor than ever before.
More collaboration across sectors.
More support measures.

This. Is. Major.
A new normal.
Tax deferrals extended - including for PAYE. No penalties for late payments will be applicable if one can show they were materially affected by COVID-19.

Those who contribute to the Solidarity Fund will receive a 10% tax relief.

Minister of Finance will provide more details.
SA Reserve Bank has cut the repo rate by 200 basis points. [President alludes to a Reserve Bank that better serves the people, over just shareholders]

Other SA banks on board with several relief measures.
A phased reopening of the economy will critically balance the need to deal with the pandemic with the need to get people back to work.

The approach will be guided by the best available scientific evidence.

IT WILL BE GRADUAL (yes, I shouted that 🙂).
We will need to be agile and responsive.

Our country and the world we live in will never be the same again.

On Thursday 23 April, the president will address the nation on the measures during the continued lockdown and the phased resumption of 'normal' activity.
Time to forge a new economy in a new global economy.

Our economic strategy will require a new social compact across the board.

Restructure the economy and partner to achieve inclusive growth.
- Localisation
- reindustrialisation
- strengthen informal sector
- RADICAL ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION that makes our cities, towns, villages vibrant centres of economic activity.

Justice & fairness should be at the centre of our 'new economy'
New horizons.
New opportunities.
The president ends by commending the strength and resilience of ordinary South Africans.

We can rise to any challenge, he says.

We shall recover.
We shall overcome.
We shall prosper.

You can follow @MaS1banda.
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