President Cyril Ramaphosa’s risk-adjusted approach is in line with FF Plus’s recommendations for lifting lockdown, but greater clarity regarding level four is urgently needed

2020-04-23
Dr Pieter Groenewald

Following the risk-adjusted approach to lifting the Covid-19 lockdown regulations announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa is the right thing to do, but it is now of the utmost importance to specify the details regarding level four as thoroughly and quickly as possible to prevent the same kind of confusion regarding the regulations as before.

It is imperative to find a sensible balance between the spread of the virus and unlocking the economy. What is allowable and what not, must be very clearly communicated.

The current approach is nonetheless in line with the recommendations that the FF Plus submitted to the President. This is the only acceptable course of action to lift the lockdown. It is important to continually base the relaxing of the lockdown regulations on risks to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The detail regarding what exactly will determine the various levels and which business sectors will be allowed to operate and which regulations will be lifted remains to be seen.

In the FF Plus's view, the devil is in the detail. The success of the gradual lifting of the lockdown period to revive the economy will largely depend on when, where and which sectors will be allowed to reopen.

It remains of the utmost importance for the FF Plus that smaller enterprises, like sole proprietorships, are granted the opportunity to start operating and generating an income as soon as possible.

The FF Plus wants to see e-commerce and enterprises providing stationary and other forms of trade where goods can be transported by couriers be allowed to open under lockdown level four, which will be in place as from 1 May.

The delivery of food from restaurants and fast food enterprises must also be allowed in level four. The risk for infection can be greatly reduced by putting stringent precautionary measures in place and by limiting the number of people working in kitchens.

This industry's survival is in jeopardy, but it will be able to recover if it is allowed to start functioning in this way.

It will contribute greatly to gradually getting the economy up and running again in an attempt to return to normal.


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