JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg Stock Exchange has applauded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s fiscal stimulus as the country continues to battle the impact of COVID-19.
But JSE CEO Leila Fourie says the issue of debt remains the elephant in the room.
The JSE believes that the well-timed announcement balances South Africa’s fiscal challenges with the need for stimulation and growth in the economy.
"The bank stepped up early, which I think is a signal of confidence in the R200-billion loan support and or guarantee that the president is giving to the banks or underwritten to the banks", said Fourie.
Fourie said the global economy will take time to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
"Having 80 percent of the global economy locked down for an extended period of time will definitely have an effect.
SA Lockdown: Political leaders welcome COVID-19 measures
"I think what is different now to what happened in the Great Depression is that stimulus plans are much faster to be deployed. We are a month into this crisis and we have seen massive stimulus plans," she added.
Ramaphosa announced a R500-billion package on Tuesday which includes a range of interventions, including a R50-billion six-month coronavirus relief grant; R100-billion for jobs and R70-billion in tax relief.