Ramaphosa on slippery stones, ailing economy and saving jobs during Covid-19 pandemic

16 July 2020 - 12:05 By Unathi Nkanjeni
President Cyril Ramaphosa described SA's navigation of the Covid-19 crisis as 'crossing a river' in which some rocks are slippery and others are firm.
President Cyril Ramaphosa described SA's navigation of the Covid-19 crisis as 'crossing a river' in which some rocks are slippery and others are firm.
Image: GCIS

R100bn has been set aside for job protection and creation amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was speaking with communities during the second Covid-19 presidential imbizo on Wednesday night.

Ramaphosa acknowledged that the lockdown had brought the country's economy to a standstill.  Here are five key points he highlighted:

Slippery stones

Ramaphosa said since the virus hit SA, the government has been stepping on stones, some slippery and some firm.

“Our approach to Covid-19 was always to save lives and preserve livelihoods. We are crossing the river by feeling our way across the stones. Sometimes we put our feet on slippery stones and sometimes on firm stones.”

Ailing economy

Ramaphosa said the pandemic had a devastating affect on the economy and that three million jobs have already been lost to the virus.

“We are committed to focusing our efforts on the economic recovery. We’re working on a very direct economic process and, in this, we are working together with business, unions and economists.”

Saving jobs 

He said the government came up with a plan to salvage the damage done by the lockdown, including setting aside R100bn for protecting and creating jobs.

“We are committed to focusing our efforts on economic recovery. We have set aside R100bn for job protection and creation, and are working on a massive employment drive through infrastructure and public employment.”

Unleashing more jobs

Ramaphosa said infrastructure projects would “unleash” a lot of economic activities and create more jobs. 

“We’ve got projects that are ready. We’ve also got projects on the public employment side. We will recalibrate the experiential work programme to ensure we’ve got a much more robust public employment process.”

Catering to all

The economic recovery plan would leave no-one behind, said Ramaphosa.

“We’ve got to come up with an economic recovery plan that leaves no-one behind. We’ve got to come up with an inclusive recovery plan, also focusing on the rural economy and the agriculture sector.”


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