Covid-19: Cabinet defers decision on economic crisis plan
Cape Town - Cabinet has heard proposals from five ministerial clusters for a socio-economic rescue plan to steer South Africa through the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis but will meet again next week before taking any decisions, it said in a statement on Thursday.
"The presentations were a culmination of the work done by all the Cabinet clusters, focusing on the country’s economic recovery as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent downgrading of South Africa by rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch respectively," according to the statement.
It follows a virtual meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday.
"Cabinet resolved that further discussions and consultations are still required before the final consolidated plan is approved to be shared with the nation."
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said earlier this week the National Treasury had prepared a comprehensive set of proposals to table before Cabinet to respond to the deep recession the country faces as the health crisis unfolds.
All ministers have now been asked to combine their proposals into a single document, setting out key priorities, before Cabinet holds an extraordinary meeting on Monday.
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has been asked to submit an update on the business rescue plan for stricken national carrier South African Airways (SAA) and the statement suggested its fate may be decided along with the economic recovery plan.
"All the Cabinet clusters have been asked to work together to produce one consolidated document on key priorities of the country’s economic recovery plan, to be completed before the next Cabinet meeting scheduled to take place on Monday, 20 April 2020."
The South African Reserve Bank expects the economy to contract by 6.1% in 2020 and has cautioned that unemployment, which stood at a record 29.1% before the coronavirus pandemic began, would increase sharply.
African News Agency/ANA