ANC is using Covid-19 as its ‘tool for radical economic transformation’, say SA employers

Covid-19 lockdown – Sorry Mr President, you lack credibility

By Gerhard Papenfus* 

For any law or regulation to have proper effect, it needs to make sense, be balanced, rational, reasonable and, above all, be credible.

From the moment the ANC decided to utilise Covid-19 as their fortuitous opportunity and tool for radical economic transformation, all credibility in respect of any implemented measures went out the window. The effect of this is that everything surrounding Covid-19 is cast into doubt – even measures whose observance would otherwise be crucial.

If Covid-19 poses the threat as claimed, why are taxis allowed to be filled to full capacity? The answer is that it is done for purposes of political expediency. Taxi owners, for purpose of economic survival, have already indicated that they will simply defy government if it dared to regulate and enforce another arrangement. Economic survival, however, applies to all sectors and all individuals.

Read also: Governments are losing credibility in the fight against Covid-19

Liquor stores were, from 8pm last night, not allowed to open. Everybody involved in these enterprises, in fact the whole of the liquor supply chain (entrepreneurs and workers) will, as from today, be out of business, out of work and out of pay. Unlike during the previous three months, there will be no UIF assistance for workers. The illegal liquor trade, as is the case with cigarettes, will boom.

Furthermore, why are all our medical facilities, three and a half months after the initial lock-down, still not up to speed? The answer lies in the draconic mix between BEE, cadre deployment and an excessively large, overpaid and unproductive public service. It is not only costing the tax payer billions, it is now also costing lives.

The credibility deficit of this government is the result of their cover-up of other poor policies, poor decisions and corruption. Instead of utilising Covid-19’s exposure of these deficiencies to redeem itself to a path of growth and employment, the course they intend to adopt will only take us deeper into the abyss.

  • Gerhard Papenfus is the Chief Executive of the National Employers Association of South Africa. 
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