Lockdown likely to last longer than two weeks

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Analysts are saying that the latest level 4 lockdown restrictions (which came into effect on Monday, 28 June) could possibly last longer than the prescribed 14-day period.

Speaking to CNBC Africa, Intellidex analyst Peter Attard Montalto, said that while the latest restrictions put in place by the president are “broadly appropriate” but the problem is – it’s too late.

According to Montalto, there was sufficient evidence in the preceding weeks (in terms of rising case numbers and excess deaths) to have implemented the restrictions a lot earlier, “It didn’t require knowledge and confirmation of the Delta variant – the pace was sufficiently fast that (the restrictions) should have been put in place anyway,” Montalto told CNBC Africa.

Multiple industries are calling on the government to provide financial support under the current restrictions, however, the government said there are no immediate plans to provide any support, and according to Montalto, this is the biggest problem.

“There is a problem with the framing of this as a two-week issue,” he explains. “That was the central contradiction of the president’s message – saying that the third wave will last longer than the previous two, yet at the same time saying this (lockdown) was only two weeks.”

Read More | Lockdown Level 4: Jail time for attending gatherings, sit-down restaurants, church and more

The analyst also describes the prohibition on alcohol as “an exceptionally blunt instrument” that comes with no additional support for the industry.

Montalto said that forecasts for growth in South Africa’s in 2021 will be adjusted slightly to take into account the current lockdown and its impact, but he said it will be adjusted based on the assumption that this lockdown will last longer than just two weeks, “Forecasts will be adjusted based on the hospitality restrictions, assuming this is a month-long (rather than two-week) lockdown,” Montalto confirmed.

“This isn’t a stay-at-home order. Most economic activity can still continue, particularly mining. But it will have a negative sentiment impact on the economy,” he said. The longer the lockdown persists, the greater the impact will be.

According to the current mandate, lockdown is set to end on 11 July. Find more trending news, right here.

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