The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) has added its support to measures laid out by President Cyril Ramaphosa following his speech on Sunday night.
The labour organisation released a statement on Tuesday following a special executive Council meeting, stating that they were encouraged by the measures Ramaphosa had proposed, and had urged employers and employees to come together to help limit the spread of the outbreak.
“Employers and trade unions agreed to work together to manage issues like short time, shift work, changing working hours and lunch breaks to avoid too many workers congregating in one place,” said Nedlac.
“It was recognised that in the medium term, some of these workplace adaptions can also lead to economic opportunities such as an increase in the use of electronic technology for workplace communication.”
The outbreak is set to have a devastating impact on the country’s economy. Nedlac says that small and medium enterprises are particularly vulnerable to the possible financial ramifications of the virus.
Minister of trade and industry (the dti), Ebrahim Patel, said there needed to be a balance between the containment efforts and the economic sector.
“The Covid 19 crisis will require the best traditions of social partnership to ensure that we contain the spread of the virus and make every effort to protect employment, earnings and industrial output.” he said. – Bjorn Vorster