Weekly update from GIFS CEO Kershen Pillay

As of writing, we are now in our seventh day of a national lockdown in South Africa. A severe, but necessary, legislative move by President Ramaphosa that has generally been championed by decision-makers in South Africa and abroad.

We’ve seen the destructive force of the pandemic in developed nations, such as Italy and the US, particularly in the state of New York, where a flood of Covid-19 patients is threatening to collapse the healthcare system.

President Ramaphosa and his government have implemented these measures in South Africa to avoid a similar, or an even more disastrous, outcome in South Africa. Our healthcare system was already under pressure before the pandemic, and a large percentage of the South African population is immunocompromised due to TB and HIV. Given the alternative, Ramaphosa had no choice, even when faced with the dire economic consequences of his decision that will be felt for years after the last case of Covid-19 has been treated.

So, what does this mean for us as a society? Each one of us is experiencing and struggling to make sense of this new normal. Now more than ever, we need to help those that aren’t as capable in surviving and coping with the repercussions of this pandemic. This includes the support of SMEs by macro enterprises.

We must support the President in his decisions by adhering to the lockdown measures, and do what is within our means to adapt to the new normal. It has already been proven what businesses and individuals can achieve when left with no alternative but to adapt. Let’s work together as a nation united in overcoming this. Divisiveness is not an option.

Kershen Pillay