Sacci urges South African Government to boost economic recovery through reform

An influential South African business group has urged the Government to accelerate structural reforms in order to boost its economic recovery from the restrictions put in place to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci) business-confidence index recovered to 85.8 in August and 85.7 last month, after it collapsed to 70.1 at the height of lockdown restrictions in May.

A Government-ordered strict national lockdown from late March to May drove the index down to the lowest level since its inception and pushed South Africa into its longest recession in 28 years.

“It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown process managed by government had a paralysing effect on the economy and the business climate,” Sacci said. “It has become apparent that the economy can be restored if a corrective phased process is implemented as a matter of urgency.”

Corrective action should include addressing the ‘unsustainable fiscal position’ in all public sector institutions and high-profile arrests for graft would help restore investor confidence, it added.

The group also advised that further restrictions should be limited to areas and communities with high infection rates so as not to cause further damage to the economy.