Writing in his first weekly newsletter of 2021, Ramaphosa said the country’s public finances were under great strain due to the 10-month-long pandemic which has forced government to impose a series of restrictions on socio-economic activities in an effort to slow down the virus.
The slowing down of economic activities meant that tax revenue and other government revenue collection mechanisms had considerably been reduced to the disadvantage of the country’s economy, he said.
“There are some parts of the economy that will take longer to recover due to lower global demand generally and restrictions on international travel.
“It was for this reason that the country needs to be innovative and focused in its plans to rebuild the economy,” Ramaphosa said.
With the world entering the second year of the pandemic, Ramaphosa has warned that 2021 would be “extremely challenging.”
“The current second wave of Covid-19 infections may well be followed by further waves, which will threaten both the health of our people and the recovery of our economy.
He however said that despite these challenges, he was “certain that we will overcome the pandemic and set our country firmly on the path to recovery.”
“My confidence comes from the South African people. If I look at how South Africans responded to this crisis from the moment the virus arrived on our shores (in March 2020), I have no doubt that we have the resilience, discipline and ability to defeat this disease.”