Job seekers wait for work beside the road near Cape Town's Khayelitsha in 2003; 16 years later, the jobless situation in SA is even worse. Picture: REUTERS
Job seekers wait for work beside the road near Cape Town's Khayelitsha in 2003; 16 years later, the jobless situation in SA is even worse. Picture: REUTERS

The Covid-19 pandemic is the worst global crisis since World War 2. Its containment measures and lockdowns have caused unprecedented disruption in economies and labour markets. Informal workers in SA and around the world have borne a disproportionate burden of these measures.

The National Income Dynamics Study — Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey, conducted by an academic consortium and published on July 15, showed how the pandemic has impoverished SA and made one of the world’s most unequal countries even more so.

Yesterday, the findings from the second wave of the study were released and they show we are experiencing the worst labour market crisis in our history.

Michael Avery talks to Nic Spaull, a senior researcher in the economics department at Stellenbosch University; and Andrew Levy, one of SA’s best known labour resources and one of the founding Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration commissioners

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