Socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa: counting the cost


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The sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to pose a threat to human survival as nations around the world battle to survive in the face of this unwanted invisible enemy. Apart from its devastating effects on public health, the COVID-19 pandemic has crippled the economy of many developed and developing nations, including South Africa. The paper analyzed the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic on South African education and literacy, manufacturing, employment generation, and foreign direct investment, among others. This study employed discourse analysis to examine some of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. Dubbed as a rainbow nation with one of the most advanced economy, South Africa is currently faced with the twin problem of being the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and having to cater for millions of unemployed citizens who depend solely on social welfare services. The review revealed that South Africa has been mostly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects on socio-economic activities in the country were more severe compared to other nations within the SADC region. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how susceptible the South African economy is in the face of emergencies, despite its enormous economic immensity. The government and policymakers must come up with viable economic recovery plans, and these plans must be sustainable to ensure that the country does not slump back into recession in the event of another pandemic. The government at all levels should design relief programs targeting those who might have lost their basic livelihoods, be they employment or businesses, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • JEL Classification (Paper profile tab)
    I1, I150, I180, G2
  • References
  • Tables
  • Figures
    • Figure 1. South Africa’s Imports
    • Figure 2. South Africa’s Exports
    • Table 1. South Africa Main Import and Export (2018)
    • Table 2. South Africa’s Main Customers and Suppliers
    • Conceptualization
      Sunday Olawale Olaniran, Kehinde Damilola Ilesanmi
    • Investigation
      Sunday Olawale Olaniran, Kehinde Damilola Ilesanmi
    • Methodology
      Sunday Olawale Olaniran
    • Resources
      Sunday Olawale Olaniran
    • Writing – original draft
      Sunday Olawale Olaniran, Kehinde Damilola Ilesanmi
    • Writing – review & editing
      Sunday Olawale Olaniran, Kehinde Damilola Ilesanmi
    • Formal Analysis
      Kehinde Damilola Ilesanmi
    • Project administration
      Kehinde Damilola Ilesanmi