Expect sunshine after coronavirus storm - Absip

The Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals said government’s interventions to address the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in South Africa would allow the economy to make a firm recovery once the outbreak is addressed.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Absip welcomed the South African Reserve Bank’s decision to cut the repo rate by 100 basis point, saying this will provide relief to consumers and businesses.

On Monday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a series of measures to soften the blow for businesses as South Africa prepared to ensure a state of lockdown at the end of the week to control the spread of the virus.

Absip president Sibongiseni Mbatha said in the statement that the industry body welcomed the South African Reserve Bank's intervention of cutting the repo rate by 100 basis points. Absip believes this will provide relief to consumers and businesses, but bolder action is still needed.

"We understand that these are terrifying times since the pandemic struck. We understand the sense of dread this people feel. But the fact is Covid-19 is not only attacking our loved ones and ourselves. It is also laying waste to companies, our investments, our savings and our jobs," said Mbatha.

Mbatha expressed keen optimism that with the right measures put in place to protect businesses and jobs, South Africa was poised to make a firm rebound economically once the coronavirus crisis is addressed.

Believe in resilience

"Absip do believe in the resilience of our capitalist system. We have absolute faith in the creativity and the sheer dogged guts of our entrepreneurs. History tells us that economies recover from even the worst of traumas. In finance as in life, the great healer is time," said Mbatha.

The statement also praised Standard Bank's 90-day payment holiday for small businesses to soften coronavirus impact. Absip called on other banks to follow suit.

"Also, Absip believes the exemption of banks from provisions of the Competition Act to enable them to develop common approaches to debt relief and other necessary measures will also soften the virus blow," the statement said.

Mbatha also praised the Industrial Development Corporation and Department of Trade of more than R3 billion for industrial funding to fight the virus and its economic impact, saying all efforts were needed to soften the economic burden brought by the virus.

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