GDP plunge: Ramaphosa's aides face an enemy legendary kings would have shuddered at

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President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
GCIS

While no 21st-century leader has had to deal with the likes of the economic headwinds caused by the Covid-19 novel coronavirus - an annualised 51% quarterly contraction in SA's GDP, for instance - there is an ancient world emperor from the sixth century who may know how our president feels.

Emperor Justinian was at war with a plague that ravaged the Byzantine Empire between 541 and 549 AD.

Meanwhile, back in the twenty-first century, Statistics South Africa announced on Tuesday morning that the South African economy contracted by an annualised 51% in the second quarter of 2020 (-16.4% when not annualised), or 17.1% year-on-year, citing the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions since the end of March 2020. This pandemic may not last as long as Justinian's plague, but its impact will be felt for years to come.

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