We are now transitioning into level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown and our government has eased regulations, enabling more people working in key industries to return to work.
If one factors in the economic and social effects of a prolonged closure against a deftly phased reopening of our economy, you could well argue that our country has done well thus far. Our government’s approach has been lauded across the globe as being among the best.
And make no mistake, Covid-19 has had a traumatic collective impact on our lives. More tellingly, the pandemic has reminded us of the deep-seated economic and social inequalities facing our communities. Our people have shown remarkable resilience by staying indoors in the face of adversity, but for some it’s been difficult to practise social distancing and other safety norms in the absence of food on the table. Hence the sense of urgency by some to return to our normal lives – which is perhaps understandable, but need we be reminded that we are dealing with an invisible enemy that has robbed us of our social liberties. We need to balance the clamour by those agitating for a swift return to work against the danger posed by the pandemic, or risk wasting the sacrifices we have made thus far. The rising number of pandemic casualties daily reminds us of the dangers we face if we make reckless decisions; hence, social distancing and other forms of safety practises should remain as our new behaviour for the foreseeable future.
On a positive note, this crisis provides us with the opportunity to address the various structural economic and social fault lines in our economy. I’m heartened by the dexterity with which the government moved to set up the R500-billion stimulus package, as a direct response to the economic threat posed by the pandemic. But most importantly, the private sector has also geared up to take a more assertive approach to shoring up the economy – hence the plethora of state and private sector funding interventions in our midst.
As we envision a post-Covid-19 South Africa, what the IDC would like to see is a transformed economy – one that will provide equal economic and growth opportunities across the racial and gender spectrum. We also want to see the emergence of more agile blackowned businesses that can hold their own in a challenging economic environment.
Which is why, against the strain that some of our clients are faced with as a result of this pandemic, we have devised and clustered a range of Covid-19 funding interventions, including the Covid-19 Essential Supplies, the Distressed fund and now the Distressed Small Industrial Business Finance (see page 3) initiatives – all of which are aimed at alleviating the impact of this pandemic on businesses.
Further to this, we have donated R25-million towards the Solidarity Fund – established by the government to help combat the pandemic. This show of good corporate citizenship by the Corporation follows on another gesture that saw us donate R5-million to humanitarian group Gift of the Givers. Our staff have gone a step further in establishing a fundraising initiative that will help them continue to donate to the Solidarity Fund. Although not mandatory, our external stakeholders, including our clients, who may want to donate towards this noble cause can do so by donating to the following account:
Bank: ABSA | Account name: IDC Covid19 Solidarity Fund | Account no: 40 -9871-7946 | Account type: cheque | Branch: Sandton City | Branch code: 632005 universal branch code | Swift code: ABSAZAJJ
Reference number: for all EFT payments please include your identity number/company registration/trust number,
as applicable, to facilitate your section 18A tax certificate preparation. Through such partnerships and in working for the common good, we remain hopeful that our country and the rest of the globe will not only survive but also emerge stronger from this crisis.
Chief Executive Officer