The latest PwC Global CEO Survey, in which CEOs from SA participated, paints a grim picture: as many as 40% of them plan further job cuts. This figure, which PwC says is unprecedented since it included SA in the survey in 2010, compares with just 21% globally. Even more worrying is that at least 51% of local CEOs shed jobs in the past 12 months compared to 37% globally.

This shows the damage Covid-19 has caused to what was already a fragile and limping economy. It also shows that investor and business confidence, which was at a record low even before Covid-19 hit SA, is not expected to recover significantly in the near to medium term. Against the backdrop of record unemployment of over 32% — more than 46% using the expanded definition of unemployment — the PwC survey findings on employment trends constitute a perfect storm for government...

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