Ina Opperman
Business Journalist
4 minute read
20 Jan 2021
5:30 pm

The pandemic broke an already broken economy

Ina Opperman

300 days into South Africa's lockdown, the country is in dire economic straits, with not a single industry being spared Covid-19's devastation. Some industries, though, have had a much worse time of it than others.

A man walks across empty streets in central Cape Town, South Africa on 28 April 2020. South Africa has previously imposed some of the most severe lockdown rules in the world. Picture: EPA-EFE/Nic Bothma

2020 was not only one of the deadliest, but also one of the costliest years in the history of South Africa. Covid-19 and the 300 days and counting of lockdown, meant to contain the spread of the virus has cost South Africa millions of jobs, economic growth and tourists, while the alcohol and tobacco ban saw the country lose billions in lost revenue. Lost employment Unemployment in South Africa increased by 7.5 percentage points to 43.1% in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the second quarter of the year, according to the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey...

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