Picture: 123RF/BREIZ HATAO
Picture: 123RF/BREIZ HATAO

It’s day 221 of one of the world’s longest running and arguably most economically damaging lockdowns. President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation this week amid suggestions that the government could reinstate stricter measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

In SA, the seven-day average for new cases has dropped to 1,565 a day, down 9% week on week. Meanwhile, Australia has just recorded its first day without a locally transmitted Covid-19 case since June.

Deaths so far from Covid-19 remain well below the (several times) downwardly revised lower boundary of expected fatalities at less than 20,000 in SA. However, the economy has sustained severe structural damage in employment, a deep erosion of the tax base, and a National Coronavirus Command Council seemingly drunk on power, withdrawing the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) benefit, managed by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) unilaterally, suggesting, ominously, that the government remains as detached as ever to the reality for so many South Africans.

Michael Avery is joined by Prof Alex van den Heever, chair atin the field of social security systems administration and management studies at the Wit’s School of Governance; Nick Hudson, CEO of Sana Partners and part-time co-ordinator of Pandemic Data Analysis (Panda); and Mike Schussler, head of econmists.co.za, to talk about what we have learnt so far about lockdowns that should be guiding our decision-making as we chart a course ahead.

Michael Avery talks to a panel about lockdowns that should be guiding our decision making as we chart a course ahead

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