President Cyril Ramaphosa says government’s priority is saving lives, and ensuring that it provides the necessary support within its means to prevent more businesses from closing down and further job losses.
“With the pandemic showing no immediate signs of ending, businesses and workers remain vulnerable,” President Ramaphosa said.
In his weekly newsletter, President Ramaphosa commended the social compacts that government continues to forge with business and labour to buffer workers and businesses from the pandemic’s harsh economic impacts.
President Ramaphosa said there are promising indications that the economy is steadily recovering in terms of growth and job creation in a number of sectors including manufacturing, mining and agriculture.
“Through the interventions we were able to mitigate the worst effects of the pandemic, preventing the closure of many businesses and the loss of even further jobs.”
President Ramaphosa said in dealing with the pandemic, government has sought to adopt an evidence-based approach in both policy and practice, considering scientific research, clinical expertise and capabilities, and impact on all sectors of the population.
“We have sought to have a balance between saving lives and preserving livelihoods. We have sought to mitigate the impact of the successive lockdown restrictions on people’s livelihoods, or risk a second and possibly worse epidemic of poverty and hunger in future.
“Through these interventions, we were able to mitigate the worst effects of the pandemic, preventing the closure of many businesses and the loss of even further jobs. They provided a firm foundation for the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan that we launched in October last year.”
Government introduced the Presidential Employment Stimulus to provide income and livelihood support to millions of beneficiaries.
Through the stimulus, over 300 000 young people have been placed as school assistants.
More than 100 000 subsistence farmers are registered on the first-ever database of its kind, where they have access to technical support.
More than 30 000 young people have been given opportunities in the cultural, creative and sports sectors.
President Ramaphosa said young professionals have been given opportunities in infrastructure development, healthcare, environmental conservation and a number of other sectors.