๐Ÿ”’ Alec Hogg: 2Q GDP plunge quantifies cost of SA’s lockdown

In late March when president Cyril Ramaphosa told the nation a strict lockdown was required to stop the spread of Covid-19, he was taking a decision he knew would be expensive. Now that the tally is in, he must be wondering whether it was worth it.

The cost of the lockdown has been quantified at R750-billion. Yesterday, Stats SA disclosed South Africa’s economic activity dropped 51% in the three months between April and June. The country’s GDP is $350-billion a year, equating to roughly $88-billion per quarter.

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So according to the official data, losing half the GDP of a quarter wipes out an astonishing $44-billion worth of economic value. That’s three quarters of a trillion rand give or take some political pocket change. A hefty price for freezing SA’s already struggling economy when the result was preventing the earlier passing of a few thousand already sick and mostly elderly people.

From the outset, actuary Nick Hudson and his colleagues at PANDA strongly questioned the lockdown rationale. They argued that modellers informing SA’s policy response got their (massively overstated) projections horribly wrong. If only the blockheads had listened. Nick is my guest in the second episode of the new Alec Hogg Show, a half hour biographical podcast on interesting people. Click here to have a listen to his much-needed independent voice.

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The black line clearly illustrates the impact of Covid-19 on SA’s national mortality rate was modest and brief. Graph is drawn from the weekly pack compiled by Stanlib economist Kevin Lings.

For your attention today:

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* Webinar alert:

On Thursday at noon Tim Modise hosts the DA’s brightest young star, its head of policyย Gwen Ngwenya. Here’s the link to register:ย https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1324111475714234383

* And on Friday at noon Jackie Cameron and guests lookย at ways to help you make and save money. Here’s the registration link:ย https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6646694434270030861