The 16% decline in GDP from the first to the second quarter of 2020 is a man-made disaster. Recovery starts with ending lockdown, which a responsible government would do immediately, including opening international air travel and not extending the state of disaster beyond its next expiry date on 15 September.
The next step on the long road to recovery will be to bring about an unprecedented roll-back of the state and the underlying interventionism that has fundamentally weakened the South African economy over many years now. Recovery will require less politics, more business.
The 16% decline in GDP between Q1 and Q2 was caused not by a virus, but by the lockdown implemented by the South African government. It was one thing to get the assumptions about the severity of Covid-19 wrong, but it was the reckless severity, irrationality, and harmful prolonging of the lockdown which caused and is still causing the greatest implosion in output South Africa has ever experienced.
Recovery starts with ending lockdown. As Sakeliga we reiterate, in support of the Business for Ending Lockdown campaign:
- End lockdown
- Lift the state of disaster
- Convert all regulations into voluntary recommendations.