In a recent publication, the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation forecast that the SA economy will contract 11.5% in 2020. This will be the largest contraction of the world’s biggest developed and emerging economies. Argentina, with a GDP collapse of 11.2%, will have the second-largest contraction.

SA and Argentina have two other things in common. Their lockdowns were among the most severe in the world, according to the Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Stringency Index, a composite measure based on nine responses to the coronavirus, such as workplace and school closures...

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