Sobering news. The National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS), out of the University of Cape Town but backed by the government and financed by private sector donors as well, has just made a first assessment of the impact of Covid-19 and the government’s response to it in the NIDS-CRAM (Corona Virus Rapid Mobile) survey. It is not pretty reading.

NIDS-CRAM reckons ( I am relying on Neil Coleman of the Institute for Economic Justice for a summary of its finding) that 3-million people lost their jobs during the hard lockdown in March and April. That’s 3,000,000. Assume, conservatively, three dependents for each job, that becomes 9,000,000 more people with little or nothing to live off. Typically, the poor, women and black people fared the worst...

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