South African Business Leaders Fret Over Post-Virus Revival

Pedestrians wait to cross Adderley Street in central Cape Town on July 23.

Photographer: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg

South African business leaders are growing increasingly concerned that the government doesn’t have the will or capacity to overcome the economic devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Business for South Africa, an alliance of the nation’s main business groups also known as B4SA, expects the economy to contract as much as 10% this year and has spent the past four months drafting a plan to get it back on track. About 250 experts worked for free on the proposals that could potentially add 1 trillion rand ($58 billion) to gross domestic product, but they have gained limited traction with the authorities so far.

“My confidence in the government implementing this is very low,” Busi Mavuso, the chief executive officer of Business Leadership South Africa, which forms part of B4SA, said in an online briefing with Bloomberg. “I can’t say the government jumped for joy in receiving it.”

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