Business is relieved by the lifting of some lockdown regulations, even if insufficient, but remain concerned about remaining or reinstated regulations. The threat of future lockdown measures will, until greater certainty prevails, discourage businesspeople from investing and resuming operations.
In the meantime, the government’s commitment to detrimental and divisive politics is causing great harm. Restaurants on the verge of collapse are being forced to pay higher wages. Government is now also openly providing relief for businesses in tourism on the basis of race. Overall, the government remains committed to greater centralisation, expropriation, licensing, BEE, and other harmful policies.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s upcoming state of the nation address will be an important indication of the extent to which the government is truly serious about economic and social recovery. The success of the address depends on it clearly providing for less politics and more business. Large-scale reform remains the only option for government to undo the damage already done.