Up to 7 million jobs at risk according to Treasury presentation in Parliament
Thu, 30 April 2020
A briefing by the National Treasury today to the Standing Committee on Finance on the financial implications of COVID-19 on the economy projected millions of job losses.
A presentation document from the briefing was posted on the DA website today, and warns of what is likely the worst recession since the Great Depression.
The document mentioned three possible recovery scenarios following the lockdown until the end of 2020.
1. Quick: the pandemic is contained quickly, and the economy bounces back;
2. Slow: the pandemic takes longer to contain, and the economy is slower to recover;
3. Long: the pandemic endures even longer, and the recovery thereafter is spread over a longer period than in the slow scenario.
According to the projections on employment levels, with the quick scenario the losses would be just under three million. The slow scenario would result in over five million job losses and in the long scenario the losses were projected to be a staggering seven million.
The document argues that while the government had acted decisively to prioritise the health and lives of South Africans, the economy was already weak before the coronavirus and had since been hit hard by interlocking shocks to supply and demand.
The Treasury estimated that approximately one-third of the resources that were productive in February 2020 were now idle, largely as a result of the lockdown.
It says that average daily transaction values through payment systems have more than halved as economic activity has declined.
The Treasury warned that the longer that economic growth remained weak, the greater the risk was that there would be permanent destruction of supply-side capacity with profoundly negative implications for household incomes and welfare.
The myDorpie news coverage of the coronavirus crisis is particularly focused on official regulatory and other news obtained from official sources and documents.
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