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PODCAST | The Story: Surviving Covid-19 and unrest: – will our economy ever recover?

  • The National Treasury predicts that the South African economy will only return to pre-Covid levels in 2023. 
  • This week, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said the recent unrest had been a major setback, costing the country billions in damage to property and infrastructure. 
  • Mboweni said the damage to property in eThekwini alone amounted to R15 billion.

South Africa’s economy has taken a devastating knock from the recent unrest and the impact of Covid-19.

The government has announced a raft of measures to support the economy’s recovery and provide help for the poor. On Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni detailed those measures and called on all South Africans to put their “shoulders to the wheel”. 

This week on The Story, we speak to the head of SA investments at NinetyOne, Nazmeera Moola, and News24 economics journalist, Lameez Omarjee.

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Moola believes that if the looting was a “once off event”, and does not recur, there will be a big boom in tourism globally, and that South Africa will benefit from that. But, she says the lack of job creation is “a real problem” and there needs to be real growth in the economy.

Moola says the Ramaphosa presidency has taken some steps in the right direction, most notably the big increase in the self-generation limit for electricity from 1 MW to 100 MW. 

Omarjee says, with 7.2 million jobless people, job creation will be critical. But, we “shouldn’t lose hope”.

She says the reintroduction of the R350 social relief of distress grant is a “reflection of how democracy works”. There are channels where people can be heard and a media that can tell stories of people’s challenges.

“We have responsible citizens”, and South Africans “care about this country too much to allow it to become a failed state”.

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