Data Portal

Citation Information

Type Working Paper - NIDS-CRAM Working Paper
Title Driven further apart by the pandemic? Contrasting impacts of COVID-19 on people and places
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2021
COVID-19 has exposed the fault lines that distinguish the lives and livelihoods of different social and racial groups in South Africa. Analysis of the pandemic’s stark spatial divides has been neglected in comparison. Yet the crisis has unfolded in different ways across the country, and the inequalities in income and well-being between social groups have tended to get accentuated by the differences between places. This paper explores the spatial impact of the pandemic on people and places over the last 12 months. The socio-economic consequences are explored both in terms of different parts of the country (metros, smaller cities/towns and rural areas) and between neighbourhood types within urban areas (suburbs, townships, shack dwellers and peri-urban areas). A positive finding is that employment levels and food insecurity have improved for most communities over the past year, following the initial shock caused by the strict lockdown. The COVID-19 SRD grant was also well targeted towards poorer communities, although it has since been terminated. A sobering message is that many people and places throughout the country remain vulnerable to hardship and misery,
and that the poorest communities have suffered most during the crisis. Levels of hunger are still very high, even 12 months since the start of the pandemic. Urban shack dwellers stand out as being at
particular risk of harm and have been most severely impacted all-round.

Related studies