COVID-19 in South Africa: Socio-economic impact report

The objective of this UNDP study is to contribute to the analysis and understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and importantly on the people in South Africa and from there promote the use of evidence-informed information for policy and recovery. This study uses three complementary methodologies to generate robust findings to reflect the realities on the ground:

(i) a microsimulation model estimating the impact of COVID-19 on household poverty in South Africa using data from the South African National Income Dynamics Study.

(ii) a dynamic macroeconomic non-financial Computable General Equilibrium Model calibrated to a 2015 Social Accounting Matrix updated to 2017, analysing the impact of COVID-19 on economic growth, unemployment and inequalities within a framework of an optimistic and pessimistic scenarios in consideration of the situation before COVID-19

(iii) a qualitative analysis capturing the perception and feelings of people on the impact of COVID-19 on their lives and work, through a survey on people working in hospitals and a second survey to understand the immediate impact on the general public.

Note: 

“The results of this study should be used with some limitations. First, this study was carried out in the first weeks of the coronavirus arriving in South Africa. Not much was known then and as more information becomes available, there might be a need to update the model assumptions and simulations. Secondly, the study was carried out before the stimulus package was announced, and thus, did not model the impact of the stimulus package.”

This report was published by the UNDP’s South Africa office on 19 August 2020. More details are available here.

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