Ramaphosa: SA not alone in dealing with job losses due to COVID-19

The president said that for a country such as ours, which was already facing an unemployment crisis, difficult decisions and difficult days were ahead.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on 17 June 2020 on the easing of level 3 lockdown restrictions. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that South Africa was not alone in what's been called a "job loss tsunami".

In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa said that jobs had been lost here in South Africa, much like Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, India and China and nearly every other country that's imposed some form of lockdown.

The president said that for a country such as ours, which was already facing an unemployment crisis, difficult decisions and difficult days were ahead.

President Ramaphosa said that in April, the International Labour Organisation forecast that there would be around 305 million job losses worldwide and he's outlined how South Africa has been affected.

Ramaphosa said that government had been keenly aware of the consequences of shutting down economic activity and insisted that it was absolutely necessary to save lives.

He said that measures that had been put in place to offer relief were continuing to provide vital support and government remained optimistic that as we gradually returned to some form of normalcy, the growing investment levels we were seeing before the coronavirus hit would slowly but surely return.

The president said that there were tough times ahead, there were no quick-fixes and we had to be realistic about our prospects, especially about the time it would take for our economy to recover.

But he said that South Africans needed to put shoulder to the wheel and turn this adversity into opportunity as we reimagined and repurposed our economy.