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Economy recovering in many sectors – Ramaphosa

There are promising indications that South Africa's economy is steadily recovering in terms of growth and job creation in a…

There are promising indications that South Africa’s economy is steadily recovering in terms of growth and job creation in a number of sectors — including manufacturing, mining and agriculture, President Ramaphosa said on Monday.In his weekly message to the nation, Ramaphosa commended the social compacts that government continued to forge with business and labour to protect workers and businesses from the Covid-19 pandemic’s harsh economic impacts. 

“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,” Ramaphosa said.

He said in dealing with the pandemic, his government had 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,” he said.

He added: “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,” he said.

Through this, Ramaphosa said young professionals have been given opportunities in infrastructure development, healthcare, environmental conservation and a number of other sectors.

He cited the firm foundation for the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan launched in October last year, and the government’s Presidential Employment Stimulus to provide income and livelihood support to millions of beneficiaries.

Through these stimulus programmes, over 300,000 young people were placed as school assistants, and over 100,000 subsistence farmers were registered on the first-ever database of its kind where they have access to technical support.

In addition, more than 30,000 young people have been given opportunities in the cultural, creative and sports sectors, he said.

But “with the pandemic showing no immediate signs of ending, businesses and workers remain vulnerable,” Ramaphosa said.

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