CAPE TOWN- One of the largest non-medical Covid-19 studies in South Africa revealed that approximately 3-million South Africans lost their jobs during the national lockdown.
Over the past three months, 30 leading social science researchers from five South African universities have been in the process of conducting the National Income Dynamics Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM).
More than 7,000 South Africans took part in the 20-minute telephonic survey offered in 10 languages, asking respondents about their employment status, household hunger, migration and receipt of grants.
Principal investigator of the NIDS-CRAM study, Nic Spaull, said it could be considered the most nationally representative survey that currently exists.
“Though the government acted swiftly and decisively to limit the spread of the virus, implementing a nationwide lockdown within seven days, its mitigation measures have come at a high cost,” said Spaull.
The first wave of the study ran from May 7 to June 27 of and used 50 call-center agents to conduct the survey.
During the course of 2020 there will be at least four further waves of data collection following the same individuals.
Here are the main findings from the survey:
- 3-million South Africans lost their jobs between February and April which translates to an 18% decline in employment
- Job losses were concentrated among women, who accounted for 2-million of the 3-million jobs lost.
- Almost half of all survey respondents reported that they ran out of money to buy food in April.
- At least 1,5-million people had jobs, but no pay:.
- The rates of net job loss are much higher for manual labourers (-24%) compared to professionals (-5%).
- 7% of adults and 4% of children were perpetually hungry every day or almost everyday
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