On 23.03.2021 we held our Talk and Q&A on “Covid-Situation in South Africa”, organised in cooperation with the SAGE Net office in Cape Town and the office in Berlin. Our great collaborator Dambisa Duben led the talk and we are still very excited about the great response we received and the not so small crowd (29!) who attended on Zoom!
Many thanks to Dambisa and all participants!
Dambisa’s presentation focused on the impact of the pandemic on South Africa and the measures taken to contain the virus.
Unemployment has risen in the wake of the pandemic, and the informal sector and its workforce in particular have suffered huge losses. Corruption at various levels and a weak health system exacerbate the situation in the country, and an increase in gender-based violence in households highlights the family and social impact of the pandemic.
The latter information seems very negative at this moment, but it should be mentioned that South Africa, in the context of many other countries worldwide, currently has a very low incidence and is in stage 1 of 5 stages (risk adjusted strategy). South Africa is therefore in an acceptable situation, at least in terms of infections, but a third wave is expected with the onset of winter (from June).
The country has been very consistent from the beginning and was in a tightened lockdown, especially in the first months of the pandemic, which was relaxed as the pandemic progressed. South Africa is also making great efforts to establish a good digital infrastructure and has, among other things, published the COVID Alert App, which sends a message if one is in the vicinity of a positive person. In terms of vaccination, a national vaccination strategy has been developed, which aims to vaccinate 67% of the population by the end of 2021.
Dambisa gave us a good overview of the history but also of the current situation and raised questions about the role of corruption and how to deal with increased unemployment. After her presentation, there was also the opportunity to ask her questions, which revolved around the “Third Wave” in particular and were not uninteresting for some of the volunteers from the class of 2021/22!