Gerhard Papenfus, chief executive of the National Employers’ Association of SA (Neasa), has made a strong plea for the economy to be opened up – “without delay delay”.
He writes: “Indications are that government, in the days and weeks ahead, will relax the lockdown to Alert Level 3. However, the slow ‘release’ of the economy will be executed by socialist politicians and red-tape eager bureaucrats, none of whom have ever run a business.
“We can therefore expect that the process of the ‘relaxation’ of the lockdown measures will be, as was the case with Alert Level 4, executed arbitrarily and irrationally, and accompanied by heaps of paperwork.
“There is no justification for this phasing in approach. All it does is to further delay economic recovery, while it is being utilised as a tool to demonstrate political power. It also grants government departments, in particular the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, time to draft their incomprehensible regulations.
“There is, and never was, any justification for the lockdown. No national or global threat or disaster, regardless of its nature or severity, justifies the locking down of a country’s economy. Government’s evaluation of the dangers presented by Covid-19, as well as its actions to counter it, are already widely rejected and the bizarre regulatory actions have become the subject of ridicule. In addition, it is becoming more and more apparent that the Covid-19 debacle is being utilised by government for ulterior purposes.
“Although the President and other governmental spokespersons attempt to illustrate sympathy for the hardship caused by this lockdown (at least they say they do), they obviously do not. If they even remotely understood the havoc caused to business and workers after having been denied the right to do business and earn a living, they would have approached the Covid-19 pandemic entirely differently.” – Issued be Neasa.