The discussion of economic recovery comes while employment, investment and output growth are at historic lows. We all know the figures — anticipated double-digit declines in output growth, millions out of work and numerous capital projects stalled by jitters, procurement hurdles and the lockdown.

In this context, the half-a-trillion-rand stimulus package announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa, while insufficient to stop the inevitable economic fallout, has focused on income relief, enterprise support, budgetary reprioritisation and the relaxation of credit and liquidity conditions. Much progress has been achieved, while some of the new and ambitious plans have revealed deep capacity gaps within the state. These will be even more tellingly exposed in the municipal arena, at district and municipal level...

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