Business for South Africa said government had no excuse to prolong the nationwide lockdown.
The business group – made up of the Black Business Council and Business Unity South Africa – was formed to support government’s efforts to deal with the effects of COVID-19.
The organisation is calling for the urgent reopening of the economy, saying wasting time in doing so would lead to severe consequences.
Business for South Africa said it understood why President Cyril Ramaphosa implemented the nationwide lockdown but it was time to change gear.
Spokesperson Martin Kingston said: “WE needed to buy time and prepare our first line of defence in terms of workers, access to PPEs, hospitals either those existing or those that need to be put in place. We’ve now bought that time and now it’s about preventative measures.”
He responded to criticism that the business community is only thinking about profit and less about the safety of workers.
“We’re saying no business can return to work unless they’ve put in place appropriate safety measures.”
The business organisation said it was in talks with government to allow for the full return of economic activity.