Covid-19 peak expected late August, with SA economy to recover in 2 years

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SA's economy is expected to contract by between 7% and 10% in 2020.
SA's economy is expected to contract by between 7% and 10% in 2020.
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  • Business for South Africa says it expects the national Covid-19 infection rate to peak during August 2020.
  • The business lobby group says South African businesses are likely to face additional job losses of about 1.5 million by the end of the year.
  • The group says it will take a minimum of two years for the South African economy to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels.


Business lobby group, Business for South Africa, has urged South Africans and businesses to continue with precautions in work and public life as the economic devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic rages on.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, B4SA said it expected the national Covid-19 infection rate to peak during August 2020, while daily mortalities will peak by late-August or early September.

B4SA said South African businesses were already in distress and it now expects about 1.5 million further job losses by the end of the year.

"The steep and dramatic surge in new infections indicates that we are now well along the upward trajectory of the infection curve, with South Africa recording the fifth highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world," the group said. 

The head of B4SA's economic working group, Martin Kingston, said the organisation expected the infection rate to have "a long tail-off" and for the virus to remain a reality of daily life for up to two more years.

"Against our latest modelling scenarios, we expect that it will take a minimum of two years for the South African economy to recover to pre-Covi-19 levels, keeping in mind that South Africa's economy was already weak at the start of 2020," said Kingston. 

Leadership and workplace culture could be "powerful factors" in ensuring employee and customer protection, said the group.

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