South Africa plans to reopen its agriculture sector and allow some manufacturing and retail to resume. This is quite necessary, as the country balances the need to restart economic output and curb the spread of the new coronavirus, trade minister Ebrahim Patel said on Saturday.
South Africa has spent a month under restrictions requiring most of the population to stay at home apart from essential trips, leaving many businesses and individuals struggling without income in the recession-hit economy.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday that the government will allow a partial reopening of the economy on May 1, with some industries allowed to operate under a five-level risk system. The country is expected to move onto the fourth level stage of the lockdown on Friday.
“In agriculture, forestry and fishing, that whole sector will begin to reopen, and that will include forestry as well as horticulture and the transport of livestock and animal auctions,” Patel said in a televised media briefing. In manufacturing, there will a further partial opening of the sectors. The sectors will not be open 100% during level four because we need to give firms an opportunity for phased return to work. As a broad baseline 20% of all manufacturing workers will begin to restart.”