In quotes: Six of the biggest statements made in Ramaphosa’s address
Cometh the hour, cometh the president... eventually. Cyril Ramaphosa has plotted a course for South Africa's economic recovery this evening.
We understand that saving the country’s economy from a meltdown is pretty risky business, but Cyril Ramaphosa kept South Africans hanging on for his address on Tuesday. Given the nature of the announcements and interventions, it may have been worth the wait.
Economic measures, social interventions discussed
The president has shared a number of economic recovery plans, as well as updating social programmes and the future of our trade. The speech, delivered late in the evening, may have put a few minds at ease before bedtime. But the foreboding sense of what lies ahead still looms large.
These interventions are sweeping, and reflect the remarkable times we are living in. We’ve put together the main points from Cyril’s speech, to give you six quick takeaways from the new measures:
Six biggest quotes from Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation:
Ramaphosa’s whopping warchest to save the economy
“We are now embarking on the second phase of our economic response to stabilise the economy, address the extreme decline in supply and demand and protect jobs. As part of this phase, we are announcing this evening a massive social relief and economic support package of R500 billion, which amounts to around 10% of GDP.”
So, where will the money go?
“An amount of R20 billion will be used to fight the global health crisis. Additional funding of R20 billion will then be made available to municipalities. We have decided on a temporary 6-month disease grant, worth R50 million. We will also be introducing a R200 billion loan guarantee scheme, too.”
“An additional R100 billion will be set aside for protection and creation of jobs. R40 billion is for income support payments for workers whose employers are not able to pay their wages. An additional amount of R2 billion will be made available to assist SMEs and spaza shop owners and other small businesses.”
Ramaphosa has good news for social grant recipients
“Child support grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R300 in May, and from June to October, they will receive an additional R500 each month.All other grant beneficiaries will receive an extra R250 per month for the next six months.
“In addition, a special distress grant of R350 a month for the next six months will be paid to individuals who are currently unemployed and do not receive any other form of social grant or UIF payment.”
How an end to lockdown will be managed
“If we end the lockdown too soon or too abruptly, we risk a massive and uncontrollable resurgence of the disease. We will therefore follow a phased approach, guided by the best available scientific evidence, to gradually lift the restrictions on economic activity.”
“On Thursday, I will address the nation on the measures that will be taken beyond the nation-wide lockdown to re-open the economy. This crisis will not last forever, and the day will come when these measures are no longer needed. Until then, however, we must ensure that all of our people receive adequate support.”
South Africa’s chance to create “a new economy”
“Our country and the world we live in will never be the same. We are resolved not merely to return our economy to where it was before, but to forge a new economy in a new global reality. Our economic strategy going forward will require a new social compact among all role players to restructure the economy.”
“Our new economy must be founded on fairness, empowerment,justice and equality.It must use every resource, every capability and every innovation we have in the service of the people of this country. Our new economy must open new horizons and offer new opportunities.”
A stirring message of hope from Cyril Ramaphosa
“Even as we find ourselves at a moment of great peril, even as great sacrifices are demanded, as we dare not allow our vigilance to waver, we look to a better future. I’ve faith in the strength of South Africans, who proved throughout history that they can rise to the challenge. We shall recover… we shall overcome and prosper.”