PRETORIA – Tax Justice South Africa (TJSA) on Friday welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the easing of the current national coronavirus lockdown and the interventions to resuscitate South Africa’s economy.
TJSA founder Yusuf Abramjee said Ramaphosa has shown great leadership during the coronavirus crisis.
“President Ramaphosa should be applauded for showing great leadership in guiding our country through this crisis and taking this important step towards financial survival. His announcement of Level 4 of lockdown from 1 May is a bold and important step in alleviating the pain that has been inflicted on businesses and the families those businesses sustain throughout the country,” said Abramjee.
“Now people can start to go back to work to keep our economy alive, generating income for themselves and South Africa as we continue to fight this devastating virus.”
Abramjee particularly appreciated the lifting of the ban on the sale of cigarettes across South Africa during the lockdown.
“The lifting of the ban on cigarette sales is particularly welcome, as this will immediately pour R35 million into the fiscus every day,” he said.
“Tax Justice South Africa encourages the government and law enforcers to crack down on the illicit traders who have exploited the lockdown restrictions to enrich themselves.
“These criminals have denied the state the funds it is due and which are desperately needed at this time of emergency.”
Ramaphosa on Thursday announced that after the end of the current Level 5 lockdown on April 30, South Africa will begin a gradual and phased recovery of economic activity.
“We will implement a risk-adjusted strategy through which we take a deliberate and cautious approach to the easing of current lockdown restrictions. We have decided on this approach because there is still much that is unknown about the rate and manner of the spread of the virus within our population,” said Ramaphosa in a televised national address.
He said the action to return to full economic activity must therefore be measured and incremental.
“This approach is guided by the advice from scientists who have advised that an abrupt and uncontrolled lifting of restrictions could cause a massive resurgence in infections. We cannot take action today that we will deeply regret tomorrow. We must avoid a rushed reopening that could risk a spread, which would need to be followed by another hard lockdown, as has happened in other countries,” said Ramaphosa.
– African News Agency (ANA)
By Jonisayi Maromo