3 Million South Africans Have Lost Their Jobs Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

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Results from the first findings of the National Income Dynamics Study- Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Nids-Cram) showed that approximately 3 million South Africans lost their jobs between May and June this year.

The survey, launched in May, was conducted by 30 social science researchers from five different local universities. During the first month, 50 call-centre agents conducted 20-minute surveys with 7 000 respondents. Some of the questions were about how their employment, food security and social security was affected by Covid-19 and how they felt about the virus.

These are some of the findings reported:

  • Between February and April, 3 million South Africans lost their jobs which equals to an 18% decline;
  • 1.5 million employed South Africans reported that they did not receive any income during the lockdown period;
  • 2 million of the 3 million South Africans who lost their jobs, were women;
  • 47% of respondents said that they ran out of money by April and could not buy food
  • In the week prior to the survey, many adults who have reported hunger said that they did not have food while 42% of children in these households managed to eat at some point;
  • 96% of respondents who reported that they were able to see a healthcare worker for a chronic condition was able to do so in the four weeks prior;
  • 19% of respondents said that they needed to access healthcare workers due to a chronic condition;
  • 90% of the group mentioned previously said that they did visit a healthcare facility;
  • 90% of respondents said that they changed their behaviours to prevent Covid-19 infections, with 33% of this group taking the most effective preventative measures;
  • On knowledge of common Covid-19 symptoms, 64% reported coughing, 63% listed fever and 11% listed tiredness as symptoms

The survey concluded that many South Africans will not be able to gauge when they should undergo quarantine or seek further medical help when showing Covid-19 symptoms.

Researchers have also noted that social relief has been a slow process and that while many adults have chosen to feed children and continue going hungry, they are unable to sustain it due to increased household hunger.

The Nids-Cram survey will run until the end of December 2020.