Mukoni Ratshitanga
5 minute read
22 May 2020
8:00 am

Virus response is not simply a health vs economy affair

Mukoni Ratshitanga

The socio-economic effects of the disease as with the lockdown also require a systematic appreciation and social-science inspired response.

SADF members monitor the situation at the Pan Africa Taxi rank in Alexandra, Johannesburg, 21 May 2020. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The divide between those who prefer the lockdown to continue on the one hand and those calling for its end on the other widens by the day, with little meeting of the minds. Typical of South Africa, the deliberations are not without their rancour, party-political, class and racial divisions. In the process, nuance, context and even the facts become fair game in a process widely seen as irreconcilable – but essentially false – dichotomies of health versus the economy which are latterly also being projected as a reflection of a ruling party intent on self and collective national immolation. And...