As SA’s lockdown continues at level 4 this is a time of open letters, appeals to, and harangues of, the government. We understand and have supported the initial lockdown. We realise SA has to strike an almost impossible balance between saving lives and livelihoods. We are sure the government is familiar with the estimates of the impact of the lockdown on economic activity and employment.

Our arguments for getting people back to work as soon as possible draw on research using the National Income Dynamics Survey. SA households can be grouped into five social classes: the chronically poor, the transient poor, the vulnerable, the middle class and the elite. What characterises the different classes are their sources of income...

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