For the industries most affected by Covid-19, such as the agricultural sector, the drop of the hard lockdown to level four is a much-needed lifeline.
Dawie Maree, head of information and marketing at First National Bank Agriculture, said the phased or risk-adjusted approach to lift the current lockdown from 1 May, means all agricultural activities can resume as normal, including the wine industry (although the sale of alcohol will still be prohibited).
The wine industry will be able to produce and make wine, but probably will need to store or export the produce.
“Forestry will also be able to resume production as normal. It is important to note that the levels may vary between provinces and municipal districts, which may affect agriculture again, thus producers need to stay informed of what is going on,” Maree said on Friday.
The interpretation of the regulations was somewhat ambiguous in the different provinces and this led to unhappiness in the red meat industry when auctions, for example, in the Free State were stopped and prohibited, he said.
“Moving to level four will, hopefully, sort out these challenges.
“Other industries that will resume activity will be mining, as well as all financial and professional services. This will also be positive news for agriculture in the sense that the deeds office will most probably resume activities and hence financial transactions, such as farm purchases, can resume,” Maree said.
He said although most measures on level four will be similar to level-five lockdown, the risk-adjusted approach for lifting the lockdown was the most appropriate one to prevent another hard lockdown for the country.
According to Maree, the economy would not be able to withstand another level-five lockdown, adding that it was important that the set restrictions were adhered to as long as possible.