Vulnerabilities and Policy Priorities for South Africa’s COVID-19 Third Wave

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 most vulnerable groups have lost their income. Furthermore, the relief measures initially extended to workers, households, and businesses have expired, causing a humanitarian crisis.

This Policy Brief highlights the differentiated impact of the pandemic and the vulnerabilities it has exacerbated for workers, businesses, women, and children. It also explores how some of these groups were not rescued by initial relief efforts, and lays bare people’s dire economic needs as the third wave worsens.