Experts say the coronavirus outbreak has taken a heavy toll on South Africa’s economy.
The country has recorded the highest level of infection of Covid-19 in the southern Africa region since its outbreak. Growth is expected to contract by 1.5 percent in the first 3 months, as the virus threatens two of its main sources of income: mining and tourism.
The report issued by a subsidiary of the auditing firm Price Waterhouse Coopers, further stresses the Chinese market’s capacity to absorb South African metal production.
Every year South Africa exports the equivalent of 450 million euros worth of iron, manganese and chromium ores to China.
However, the announced 1% decline in Chinese growth could result in a reduction in demand for South African raw materials. This comes a few weeks after South Africa announced that it had entered recession in the fourth quarter of last year. The second in two years.
The country has been battling with economic crisis for nearly 10 years. From a sluggish growth, deteriorating public finances, mass unemployment to power outages.
President Ramaphosa in an address on Sunday announced that the number of cases stood at 61. he outlined the harsh economic impact of the virus citing tourism and the mining sector. South Africa has also repatriated 121 citizens from Wuhan, epicenter of the coronavirus.
Schools have been suspended and universities are likely to follow suit. Social gathering are banned and visas cancelled for persons coming from high-risk countries. Most land and sea borders have been closed and proper hygiene practices have been advised.