Forestry Industry addressing the impact of COVID-19 with the Government through the PPGI
On Friday, 28 February 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic, resulting in Governments around the world strengthening their containment measures. Besides the obvious health implications, the unexpected and alarming spread of COVID-19 has sparked fears of a global economic slowdown.
As reported earlier, the Forestry Industry will be meeting President Cyril Ramaphosa on 17 March to discuss progress on the Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI). Due to the recent developments pertaining to COVID-19, the meeting and its focus has been amended. Although the number of attendees has been greatly reduced on account of the State of Disaster announced on Monday night, FSA’s Executive Director (as PPGI Co-ordinator for the Forestry Value Chain) has been mandated, to represent Industry. The agenda has changed to focus on private and public sector actions to prevent the spread and mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 virus and the State of Disaster requirements.
We will share with the President what our PPGI-listed companies (which will serve as a proxy for the rest of the Sector) are doing to assist the cause. In addition, an appeal will be made to the President for immediate fiscal and monetary support from the State and Reserve Bank respectively, to mitigate the unfolding major impacts on businesses and employment in the Sector.
We will keep our members updated of the outcomes of the meeting in due course.