By Alan Hirsch, Professor of Development Policy and Practice at The Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at University of Cape Town
This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide.
On April 21st, President Ramaphosa announced a huge economic support programme designed to assist the vulnerable poor and sustain small and medium businesses in distress. The package is valued at R500bn or $25bn, including R200bn in credit guarantees and R130bn through reprioritisation of the budget. Some of the funds will also come from the Unemployment Insurance Fund. It is a massive package by South African standards at 10 percent of GDP or a third of the annual budget. The package has been widely acclaimed, almost across the entire political spectrum. It is pro-poor and pro-formal sector employee; and supports businesses through SME support, a job creation and retention fund, as well as through credit support. Continue reading