In the early 2000s, SA’s graveyards had rows of new graves. From 2005 to 2008, 600,000 people died a year, almost twice as many as a decade earlier. Then the number began to fall, dropping below 450,000 by 2019. The reason? SA finally followed the science on HIV and rolled out antiretrovirals on a mass scale.

The HIV pandemic should have taught policymakers that pandemics don’t go away if you ignore them. They just get worse. Yet now, as a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic threatens, the government is again walking away from scientific advice, avoiding the restrictions on social gatherings and alcohol sales needed to curb the pandemic...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now