With nothing left to steal, it’s time to borrow new ideas


With nothing left to steal, it’s time to borrow new ideas

There is no way out of this crisis without an injection of new money into the economy


After many consultations President Cyril Ramaphosa will present an economic recovery plan to parliament on Thursday, seven months after he declared a national state of disaster on March 15. But don’t hold your breath. As has been the case for the past two years, whatever the president announces the National Treasury will cancel during the medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) later this month.

Whichever way one slices or spins the data, the government’s response to this once-in-a-century pandemic and economic crisis has not been a success. We had one of the world’s most stringent and longest lockdowns and one of the most miserly economic responses — if one looks through the smoke and mirrors of the R500bn stimulus package, which has vanished six months after it was announced.

The economy will collapse about 10% in 2020. But there is nothing to show in terms of public health outcomes, with about 700,000 infections, the 11th highest in the world, and almost 18,000 deaths, the 14th highest in the world. We have had the worst of both worlds...

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