In trying to limit the spread of Covid-19, policymakers globally have the difficult task of balancing the positive health effects of lockdowns against their economic costs, particularly the burdens lockdowns impose on low-income and food-insecure households. In the case of SA, the lockdown policies (https://www.gov.za/coronavirus/guidelines) are relatively stringent, and the economic impacts large (https://www.ifpri.org/publication/impact-covid-19-south-african-economy-initial-analysis).

The lockdown has two components. First, people have restricted their movement outside their homes and engaged in physical distancing. The result has been a dramatic decline in demand for services. These range across establishments such as restaurants, theatres, sporting venues and hotels...

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