The way forward for South Africa's economy post Covid-19

16 April 2020 Consultancy.co.za

Johannesburg business advisory firm e-SEK has weighed in on discussions around the way forward for South Africa’s economy, as it reels from disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis. The firm recommends a comprehensive overhaul of the current economic structure. 

This includes a shift in focus to domestic markets and targeted investments in the manufacturing sector, in order to make the economy more self-sufficient. At present, South Africa relies heavily on its trade partners, and has consequently been hit hard by disruptions in the supply chain.

As a result, another measure recommended by e-SEK is to redirect supply chains in the short term, reducing their presence in economies that have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. These are some measures at the macro level, while individual businesses could also take concrete steps.

A change in business model is one such measure. EY South Africa Growth Markets Leader Azim Omar recently recommended that firms rebuild their business models to adapt to life after Covid-19, which is likely to see a very different business environment from what it was previously.

The way forward for South Africa's economy post Covid-19

Customer demands and modes of operation are likely to undergo a dramatic shift, and e-SEK joins other experts in suggesting that businesses anticipate these shifts and adapt accordingly. According to the firm, risk strategy should be an integral component of new business models.

Meanwhile, investing in tech that can facilitate online commercial and educational activity is also a key step that businesses can take, even for after the crisis when organisations are likely to be much more efficient with communications. The firm suggests that the treasury department should get involved to move the trade landscape online in South Africa.

These recommendations are informed by e-SEK’s wealth of expertise. The firm specialises in doing market research to advise clients on how to navigate constantly evolving conditions. Preparing organisations for disruption is e-SEK’s specialty, and the firm anticipates significant disruption in the near future.

“We must look at COVID-19’s impact soberly and honestly. It’s not an easy conversation to have, but any attempt to shield ourselves from this emerging reality will only lead to more problems. Risk management professionals, executives and boards know that they can’t shy away from COVID-19’s consequences, so we compiled this summary to encourage conversation and debate. If we work and plan together, we can come out of the pandemic stronger and more prepared as a country and economy,” said Denice Manganye, Managing Partner at e-SEK.


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