Ten must-read Covid-19 articles of the week
As the economic costs of lockdown become more severe, a toke and a tipple could have gone a long way
1. Smokers reacted with shock and outrage to the decision to remove the sale of cigarettes from level 4, which kicked in on Friday. But at least you can now run out those frustrations.
2. “What the performance of the rather Soviet-sounding National Command Council made abundantly clear,” writes Financial Mail’s Shirley de Villiers, “is the incoherence and lack of vision that has prevented the government from making inroads on any of the big issues bedevilling SA.”
3. A practice set to increase with cigarettes, it seems South Africans have found ways around the restrictions to get hold of alcohol.
4. Sars has seen a serious under-recovery due to the ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes. The finance minister said he did not support the ban, but lost the debate with his colleagues in cabinet.
5. As the country entered its fifth week of lockdown, the effects on various industries, including aviation, became even more apparent.
6. Amid the worrying developments, Business Day editor at large Carol Paton asks, “What kind of country will SA be when we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis?”
7. “If this is a war,” writes Justice Malala, “then be prepared for a very long haul because our lives are really only getting back to ‘normal’ when there is a vaccine.”
8. Whenever the “war” on the virus comes to an end, the economic crisis will be far from over. “We have to find ways to contain expenditure while not inhibiting the growth-enhancing parts of the economy as soon as the lockdown is over,” the finance minister said.
9. “We can only overcome this crisis and rebuild our shattered economy if we work together,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Freedom Day.
10. Teachers will at least return to work on Monday, but pupils will have to endure home-learning for at least another month.