Published October 2020

COVID-19 interventions and their impact in South Africa

The juxtaposition found in South African society, where poverty and opulence exist alongside each other, has yet again been brought to the fore with the advent of COVID-19. The country’s extreme inequality is always a factor when dealing with adversity and this global pandemic has been no different.

The management of COVID-19 has required a multifaceted approach and this report seeks to examine how South Africa confronted the pandemic specifically during the first surge (March – October 2020). The unpredictability of the virus has necessitated constant guideline updates which have resulted in the continuous adjusting of public health and social measures in both global and domestic contexts.

The aim of the report, therefore, is to provide an analysis of the multifaceted impacts and responses to the pandemic in South Africa, and to identify lessons that South Africa (and other countries) can draw on for management of the current pandemic and its socio-economic impacts, as well as for similar crises in future.