Modelling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on South African livelihoods

Type Working Paper - International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Title Modelling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on South African livelihoods
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2021
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-induced declining economic prospects and accompanying economic shocks present socioeconomic vulnerabilities for developing economies at the tranches of poverty, unemployment and minimal social security. South Africa is one of the countries that have the most precarious societies in developing nations due to the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality. As such, this paper investigates the impact of the pandemic on South African livelihoods. This paper uses secondary data obtained from the National Income
Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) Wave 1 dataset to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on South African livelihoods. The findings reveal that COVID-19 amplified the country’s poor and vulnerable population’s socioeconomic conditions because of the stringent Level 5 lockdown regulations that barred low-income households from making a livelihood. It further revealed that low-income households, who are the least educated, Black African, female and marginalized, were disproportionally socioeconomically affected by losing
the main household income. This study offers a policy suggestion that increasing social grants during the pandemic will not have any significant impact on the livelihoods of many South Africans unless distributional inequalities are reduced.

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