April 10, 2020

SA National Lockdown Gets Two Weeks’ Extention

On 9 April 2020 at 8pm, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation, announcing that he would be extending the 21-day lockdown by a further two weeks (14 days).

President Ramaphosa announced a two-week extension to the existing 21-day lockdown in South Africa, stating that ending the lockdown too soon could risk a “massive and uncontrollable resurgence” of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The President highlighted that all existing lockdown measures would stay in place until the end of April 2020.

A phased recovery of the economy will be devised and announced, and the R40 billion UIF fund will be made available to all those whose livelihoods have been affected by the lockdown.

It was also announced that the President, Deputy President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Premiers of the provinces will take a 30% salary cut. This salary cut will be donated to the Solidarity Fund to help support the fight against COVID-19. The Solidarity Fund has helped the most vulnerable in our society by providing food parcels, medical care, and prevention and detection of the pandemic.

“We have put in place various measures to provide support to businesses in distress, to workers facing the loss of income, to the self-employed and to informal businesses. Many of these measures are being taken up by both large and small businesses,” the President said.

So far, R356 million of R40 billion set aside by the Unemployment Insurance Fund to help employees has been taken up.

Ramaphosa called on businesses to continue paying suppliers and employees during this time. “We must do all we can to ensure that the underlying economy continues to function and to focus support on those small businesses that really need them.”

Other economic relief includes:

  • The Industrial Development Corporation has set aside R3bn for essential medical supplies;
  • The Small Enterprise Finance Agency has approved the postponement of loan repayments for a period of 6 months;
  • R500m is available for small business debt relief and business growth facilities;
  • 2bn reprioritised by the government to provide relief to smallholder farmers and to contribute to the security of food supply; and
  • The Reserve Bank has also lowered interest rates and has taken measures to inject liquidity into the economy.

Read our COVID-19 update here, updated daily.