While the general economic impact of Covid-19 in South Africa has received much attention, citizens have expressed “strong concerns” about the financial consequences of the pandemic according to the democracy survey conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).
The survey, the second the HSRC has done with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) since the start of the lockdown, found 87% of South Africans were “very concerned about the financial situation of all citizens, while 85% voiced strong concerned for themselves”.
UJ spokesperson Luyanda Ndaba said: “Over 80% of participants reported that they were struggling, given their financial situation under lockdown. This represents a modest increase in reported difficulty compared to the hard lockdown period, suggesting that the economic consequences of the pandemic continue to hit South Africans hard.”
The survey also looked at employment challenges and 15% of participants reported being retrenched and unable to find new employment since the start of lockdown.
A tenth of those surveyed reported that they had kept their jobs but that their hours or pay were different, while a further 13% said they had the same job with unchanged hours and remuneration while the largest share, 48% of those surveyed, said they were unemployed before lockdown and remained without a job.
UJ professor Carin Runciman said: “The findings show that there is strong public support for policy interventions that would assist the most vulnerable in our society.”