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Economic Relief in the Face of the Third Wave

IEJ-COVID-19-policy-brief-series-4-Emergency-relief-package

COVID-19 infections continue to rise as South Africa’s third wave worsens and the vaccination rollout programme falls short. This comes at a time when economically vulnerable groups have lost income. Most of the relief measures initially extended to workers, households, and businesses have expired, causing a humanitarian crisis.

In 2020, South Africa’s economy contracted by 7%. Almost 1.4 million jobs have been shed, with the unemployment rate reaching a record high of 32.6 (expanded definition, 43.2%). South Africans are still living under immense hardship, with approximately 10 million people and 3 million children living in a household affected by hunger in April/May 2021. This proposal was prepared in response to the need for government action to cushion the economic effects of Level 4 COVID-19 restrictions.