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SA can't afford extended lockdown, says economist

Already battered and bruised, the economy could shrink even further should government extended the lockdown as has been rumoured, economist Siya Biniza said.

An SANDF soldier and a police officer check on a member of the public during the lockdown in Woodstock, Cape Town on 27 March 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Extending South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown period will apply further pressure on the country’s already ailing economy.

Already battered and bruised, the economy could shrink even further should government extend the lockdown as has been rumoured, economist Siya Biniza said.

The South African Reserve Bank on Monday announced that the economy could shrink by between 2% and 4%.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa’s economy was not doing well.

And as the COVID-19 lockdown makes its impact, the economy is now in an even worse position.

Economist Siya Biniza: "We cannot really avoid increasing government spending, increase testing, locking down the country, etc, this will have a negative impact on the economy. My biggest concern is the secondary effects as the virus phases into the rest of Africa."

Biniza said that the government could not afford an extended COVID-19 lockdown period.

But before tackling the ailing economy, he said that the pandemic should be dealt with first.

WATCH: Timeline: A month of coronavirus in SA

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health,please click here.

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