South Africa’s economic relief of 500 billion rand (about 25.6 billion U.S. dollars) announced to counter the effects of COVID-19 was welcomed.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced measures on Tuesday to deal with the effects of the pandemic which will focus on stimulating the economy and ensuring that existing jobs are retained.
Senior economist at Efficient group Dawie Roodt said measures to save jobs will ensure jobs are sustained.
“The R100 billion that has been earmarked to support jobs will support people in keeping their jobs,” he told Xinhua on Wednesday.
On the 50 billion rand that will be spent to increase social grants of children, elderly and unemployed for six months, he said it is important, because there are vulnerable people especially children.
Jannie Rossouw, head of School of Economic and Business Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, also welcomed the measures.
“The focus is on increasing social spending. The consumption expenditure in respect of food will stimulate the economy,” he told Xinhua.
The intervention measures were also welcomed by opposition parties.
John Steenhuisen, MP Leader of the Democratic Alliance, said the budget will safeguard South Africans.
“This R500 bln package will bring much needed relief to South Africans through grants, business relief, tax measures, additional healthcare budget and food programs.”
Labor federation Cosatu’s spokesman Sizwe Pamla lauded government’s efforts to bring relief to communities and businesses. It welcomed the 40 billion rand set aside to pay workers who are placed on unpaid leave during the lockdown or those who were retrenched.
Finance minister is set to deliver a budget that covers COVID-19 this week. Enditem