Civil society watch, 13 – 17 July: The impact of Covid-19 on South Africa’s health system, education, and the economy takes centre stage this week.  (2023)

But then make every day a Mandela day.

On Monday 13 July, the University of Cape Town continues with their series of unscripted ‘conversations’ around how to re-imagine the new global university in the current and post-Covid world.

This week, join Rifat Atun (professor in global health systems, Harvard University), Kelly Chibale, (professor in organic chemistry, director of H3D, UCT), Prof Catherine Odora Hoppers, (Unisa and Gulu University).

The second event, which will be moderated Salome Maswime, (obstetrician and gynaecologist, professor in global surgery, UCT) will focus on whether or not the disruption to the current higher education model can bring about a shift in the centre of gravity in international collaborations and help us to reimagine a different approach that empowers African institutions to take the lead in collaborative projects and partnerships both within and outside the continent.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. When it comes to the financial effects, it has had a significant impact on an individual, business, and macroeconomic level. As the situation continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly evident that many of the changes are here for good. Civil society organisations like the Institute for Economic Justice and the Budget Justice Coalition have been raising questions about what a fairer economy, one that narrows rather than increases inequality, should look like. But what does big business and the financial sector think?

On Tuesday 14 July, the Nedbank Group is hosting a virtual discussion centred around the post-Covid economy. Mike Brown (Nedbank CEO) and Nicky Weimar (Nedbank chief economist) will be conversing about the important role South Africa’s banking sector has played and will need to play going forward in the Covid-19 environment.

For a thought-provoking conversation about what the post Covid-19 economy may look like, with an introduction on the role that South African banks can play, you can email organisers Sakiwe Ngcupe or Mbali Msimango to reserve your spot.

(Video) ICMA Webinar: The impact of COVID-19 on the debt capital markets in South Africa

On the same day, Equal Education will be holding two pre-launch virtual panels to discuss their upcoming Charter for an Equal Education.

The first event will focus on the decolonisation of education through the curriculum and language.

Panellists include Dr Makhosazana Khoza (CEO of UKhokho and former South African Parliamentarian), Dr Brian Ramadiro (deputy director at University of Fort Hare), Nompumelelo Mohohlwane (deputy director at the Department of Basic Education), and Athambile Masola (co-founder of Molo Mhlaba and lecturer at the University of Pretoria).

Speakers will address questions such as: what does decolonising education in South Africa mean and look like, and can we speak of decolonising education without involving language and the curriculum?

The second event, titled “school governance: The South African reality regarding governance in schools”, will be held on Thursday, 16 July.

Panellists will include Matakanye Matakanya (general secretary at National Association of School Governing Bodies), Zoliswa Dlamini (SGB parent member and activist at Equal Education), Prof Yusuf Sayed (University of Sussex and founding director of the Centre for International Teacher Education at CPUT), and Tarryn Cooper-Bell (supervising attorney at Equal Education Law Centre).

Both events will be streamed live on Equal Education’s Facebook page.

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On Wednesday 15 July, the UKZN Centre for Civil Society is inviting you to a Zoom session on the impact of Covid-19 on the South African health system.

Vuyiseka Dubula, a leading HIV activist and former General Secretary of the TAC, will discuss how Covid-19 has not only had a severe impact on health systems from the perspective of access by those who are already marginalised, but also on those living with chronic conditions and therefore more susceptible to the virus. Worsening socio-economic conditions have exacerbated this. Going forward a foundation needs to be laid for equitable access to a vaccine when it becomes available.

On the same day, a consortium of 30 social science researchers will release the findings of the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NICD-CRAM). The survey is the largest non-medical Covid-19 research project currently underway in South Africa. In this webinar researchers will present the main findings from ‘wave one’ of the study, and reflect on the outcomes of the 11 research papers that will also be made public at the webinar.

Members of civil society are encouraged to register for the virtual conference.

At 12:00, the Daily Maverick is hosting a webinar focused on the role of venture capital for SMEs in revitalising South Africa’s economy post Covid-19.

Join Business Maverick journalist Ray Mahlaka in conversation with Abu Addae (co-founder and CEO of LifeCheq), Amrish Narrandes (Head of Unlisted Equity Transactions at Futuregrowth), and Aisha Pandor (co-founder and CEO of SweepSouth) as they discuss how South Africa’s venture capital industry could support SMEs in a Covid-19 world

On Thursday 16 July, join the Institute for Poverty, Landy and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) for a discussion on “beyond elite capture: Promoting livelihoods and jobs in South Africa’s land reform”.

(Video) Africa Confronts COVID-19 Webinar

South Africa’s land reform was originally expected to create new livelihood and employment opportunities for smallholder farmers. Yet, there is growing evidence of elite capture and an increasingly narrow focus on the promotion of a large-scale commercial farming model. The speakers will give insight on what has happened in land reform and how alternative land use and farming options may improve rural livelihoods and create a significant increase in jobs in the agricultural sector.

Dr Farai Mtero (senior researcher, PLAAS) and Professor Ben Cousins (PLAAS founder and Emeritus Professor, University of the Western Cape) will converse on topics such as what the been the overall trajectory of and constraints to successful land reform in South Africa, and who has benefited from land reform in South Africa to date.

On the same day, LexisNexis South Africa and Werkmans Attorneys are hosting a webinar on business rescue in the time of Covid-19.

Topics will include exploring opportunities to reset a company’s business, the advantages of business rescue and what a company stands to accomplish if they commence with Business rescue, and the role that leadership plays in ensuring the sustainability of a company.

Join Eric Levenstein (director and head of the insolvency, business rescue and restructuring practice at Werkmans Attorneys) and Videsha Proothveerajh (CEO of LexisNexis South Africa), for a facilitated conversation discussing the impact that the new economic dispensation will have on South African directors of companies and how they are expected to manage ongoing obstacles and challenges.

At 14:30, the AIDS and Rights Alliance for southern Africa (ARASA), in collaboration with CoAct, will be hosting their second webinar in a series of four 1 and a half hour stand-alone webinars on harm reduction and drug policy in the Southern and East African region for community activists, people who use drugs, policy makers, and other stakeholders.

The webinar, titled “opioid overdose and Naloxone”, will be moderated by Mat Southwell from CoAct and will feature experts from the southern and east African region, including guest speaker, Happy Assan, from the Tanzanian Network of People who Use Drugs. Register for the webinar here.

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On Friday 17 July, Lawyers for Human Rights together with Liliesleaf, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and Maverick Citizen is hosting a webinar titled Building solidarity in the time of Covid-19. The webinar is the first in a series that will focus on migration, migrants’ rights and building inclusive societies. It will consist of discussions on mobility, inclusivity, sustainable health systems, and the control and eradication of communicable diseases such as Covid-19, HIV/Aids, and tuberculosis. Email the organisers for further information.

On the same day, the Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP) is hosting a video conference titled Saving the academic year at all costs? The brutality of an elite education system, navigating poverty and surviving the 2020 Covid-19 academic year.

Hlengiwe Ndlovu (Doctoral fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand) and Chwayita Ngogela (Rhodes University student) will explore the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown on poor high-school and university students experience navigating access to education in a time of heightened economic and social distress. You can register for the conference here.

Finally, on Saturday 18th July, the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture will be delivered by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres. The theme for this year’s lecture, Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A new Social Contract for a New Era, will focus on the current inequalities that have come under sharp relief during the Covid-19 pandemic and will look ahead to what we must do to address the world’s fragilities and build a fair globalisation. DM/MC

South Africa is full of activists whose voices and campaigns need to be heard, and we want to report on all of them. So, wherever you live, if you have virtual events or meetings which you think other activists ought to know about, write to us.

Also please sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

Civil society watch, 13 – 17 July: The impact of Covid-19 on South Africa’s health system, education, and the economy takes centre stage this week. (1)

(Video) Global Crisis in Context: Belgian and Korean Approaches to the COVID-19 Pandemic

"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [emailprotected]"


What impact does COVID-19 have on South African economy? ›

In terms of recovery, the 'Quick' recovery scenario results in a GDP decline of about 5 per cent by the end of 2020—an economic outcome that would have been considered catastrophically bad a little more than one month ago.

What did COVID-19 do to the economy? ›

The pandemic was accompanied by historic drops in output in almost all major economies. U.S. GDP fell by 8.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 (figure 3-3), the largest single-quarter contraction in more than 70 years (BEA 2021c). Most other major economies fared even worse.

What are the effects of COVID-19 in South African health system? ›

Results: The South African health system is affected by the lack of PPEs, increased mortality rates, mental health problems, substance abuse, resurgent of NCDs.

What are the impacts of this pandemic in the different sectors of the economy? ›

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting public health and causing unprecedented disruptions to economies and labour markets, including for workers and enterprises in the forest sector. It has exacerbated existing challenges, with many enterprises and workers suffering as a consequence.

How did COVID-19 affect the education system in South Africa? ›

Rotational attendance, sporadic school closures and days off for specific grades, have resulted in school children losing 54 per cent of learning time. Some 400,000 to 500,000 learners have reportedly also dropped out of school altogether over the past 16-months.

What are the negative impacts of COVID-19 on community? ›

Lack of income opportunities and reduction of pay were pre-existing challenges but had worsened significantly due to the pandemic. During the pandemic, communities reported continued insufficient food supply and health, sanitation, and nutrition issues.

What is the social impact of COVID-19? ›

The COVID-19 outbreak affects all segments of the population and is particularly detrimental to members of those social groups in the most vulnerable situations, continues to affect populations, including people living in poverty situations, older persons, persons with disabilities, youth, and indigenous peoples.

How did Covid impact education? ›

A spike in Covid-19 cases prompts more districts to plan for online education for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. State imposes strict regulations for school opening and closing based on counties on state's monitoring list. Establishes waiver process to allow some elementary schools to reopen.

How does Corona affect education? ›

In India, around 250 million students were affected due to school closures at the onset of lockdown induced by COVID-19. The pandemic posed several challenges in public and private schools which included an expected rise in dropouts, learning losses, and increase in digital divide.

How did Covid impact the health care system? ›

The COVID-19 pandemic has put extreme stress on the health care workforce in the United States, leading to workforce shortages as well as increased health care worker burnout, exhaustion, and trauma.

What are the challenges facing South Africa's healthcare system? ›

The study results highlighted corruption, lack of infrastructure and shortage of well-trained healthcare workers as chronic challenges facing South Africa's healthcare sector.

How did Covid affect health services? ›

The arrival of COVID-19 disrupted healthcare in various ways. Less urgent services were cancelled or postponed, while barriers imposed by curfews, transport closures and stay-at-home orders prevented some patients from attending appointments.

Which sector is most affected by Covid? ›

Sectors most affected include construction, manufacturing, and contact-intensive services (i.e., trade, transport, and hospitality).

What are examples of economic impacts? ›

What does an economic impact study do?
  • Economic impacts including changes in income and employment.
  • Fiscal impacts (often termed “value-added”)
  • Regional procurement needs.
  • Workforce planning.
  • Future community needs due to new and growing population: housing, schools, roads.

How has Covid affected workforce? ›

In July, 31.3 million people reported that they had been unable to work at some point in the last 4 weeks because their employer closed or lost business due to the coronavirus pandemic—that is, they did not work at all or worked fewer hours. This figure was down from 40.4 million in June and 49.8 million in May.

What are the challenges facing education in South Africa? ›

Schools are falling apart, there's a shocking lack of sanitary facilities available, overcrowded classrooms, problems of unqualified teachers, disciplinary issues, violence in school, and more.

What causes lack of education in South Africa? ›

The main reason is unequal access to resources as a result of poverty. The disparities between female and male students also continually present issues in the South African education system, especially with low percentages of girls pursuing careers in science, math or technology.

How the pandemic affect the students? ›

The pandemic had also caused psychological stress among the students, making it difficult for them to focus on studying. They expressed feelings of anxiety, burnout, loneliness, homesickness, grief, and hopelessness.

How the coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives? ›

COVID-19 changed the way we communicate, care for others, educate our children, work and more. Experts from UAB weigh in on these changes. Over the past two years, the world has seen a shift in behaviors, the economy, medicine and beyond due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the social impacts? ›

What is social impact? In essence, the definition of social impact means any significant or positive changes that solve or at least address social injustice and challenges. Businesses or organizations achieve these goals through conscious and deliberate efforts or activities in their operations and administrations.

What is the impact of COVID-19 in your life as a student? ›

Expectations for behavior and academic performance are known and familiar. When schools closed earlier this month students lost this structure and routine. Many were sent home with packets of assignments to complete but it is up to them to decide when and in what order they will do the assignments.

How pandemic is affecting mental health? ›

Information overload, rumors and misinformation can make your life feel out of control and make it unclear what to do. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may experience stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness. And mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, can worsen.

Why is it important to continue education despite the pandemic? ›

Despite the added challenges of the pandemic, it is imperative for education to continue. Education has a stabilizing effect on learners in times of emergencies. It often brings a sense of normalcy that softens the blow of vulnerability in times of disorder.

How can you enhance your education during the pandemic? ›

UNICEF Five tips for helping your children learn at home during the #COVID-19 outbreak.
  1. Plan a routine together. ...
  2. Have open conversations. ...
  3. Take your time. ...
  4. Protect children online. ...
  5. Stay in touch with your children's education facility.

What are the problems faced by students during lockdown? ›

Students have been affected psychologically by school closures, lack of equipment to participate in courses, being unable to access online materials from home and being unable to leave home for a long time (Apriyanti, 2020).

How does education affect the economy? ›

Why Is Education Considered an Economic Good? Education tends to raise productivity and creativity, as well as stimulate entrepreneurship and technological breakthroughs. All of these factors lead to greater output and economic growth.

What is the importance of health care services in this time of pandemic? ›

Community-based health care is an essential part of primary care at all times; in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the distinct capacity of trusted community members for social engagement and delivering care where it is needed is ever more critical.

How have health spending and utilization changed during the coronavirus pandemic? ›

As of December 2020, health services spending was down about 2.7% (seasonally adjusted annual rates) and it remained suppressed in January 2021. When adding in spending on prescription drugs, total health spending was down by just about 1.5% as of December 2020 compared to the same time in 2019.

What are the 4 biggest challenges facing the healthcare sector? ›

5 Current Issues in Health Care and What Administrators Can Do
  • The High Cost of Health Care. The problem: Perhaps the most pressing issue in health care currently is the high cost of care. ...
  • The Concerns of Health Equity. ...
  • The Promise (and Pitfalls) of Technology. ...
  • The Move Toward Value-Based Care. ...
  • The Growing Provider Shortage.
25 Oct 2022

What can be done to improve South African health system? ›

Four overarching recommendations are made to ensure high-quality UHC in South Africa: enhance governance and leadership for quality and equity; revolutionise quality of care; invest in and transform human resources in support of a high-quality health system; and measure, monitor and evaluate to ensure high-quality UHC.

What is the biggest health problem in South Africa? ›

This is what's killing South Africans – and future diseases to watch out for
Cause of deathRankPercentage
Diabetes mellitus25.5%
Other forms of heart disease35.1%
Cerebrovascular disease45.1%
9 more rows
5 Apr 2019

What class is a pandemic? ›

A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. Viral respiratory diseases, such as those caused by a new influenza virus or the coronavirus COVID-19, are the most likely to turn into a pandemic. A pandemic is not the same as an epidemic.

Who did COVID-19 affect? ›

People of any age can catch COVID-19 . But it most commonly affects middle-aged and older adults. The risk of developing dangerous symptoms increases with age, with those who are age 85 and older are at the highest risk of serious symptoms.

What is the impact of pandemic in business? ›

The pandemic has negatively impacted enterprises such as in the form of increasing costs, reducing sales, and labor-related challenges including remuneration or retrenchment.

What industries were impacted by Covid? ›

Sharon Stang
IndustryPercent of establishmentsPercent of employment in these establishments
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction5581
Health care and social assistance5078
Educational services4175
Wholesale trade5974
16 more rows

How COVID-19 has affected the world? ›

The COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed healthcare systems around the world, having a knock-on effect on the diagnosis and treatment of other diseases. Social distancing and lockdowns have reduced diagnosis rates of infectious diseases such as seasonal influenza, as would be expected with reduced social contact.

How might Disease be connected to the economy of a country? ›

Disease may cause economic loss in feedlots through mortality, treatment cost, or effects on productivity. The impact of clinical and subclinical disease on production efficiency and economic returns may be greater than the losses associated with mortality.


1. Globalization explained (explainity® explainer video)
2. Watch: TODAY All Day - Oct. 13
3. NCOP PLENARY (VIRTUAL), 22 July 2020
(Parliament of the Republic of South Africa)
4. Reflections on the Pandemic & the Future -- Yuval Noah Harari & Tokyo Metropolitan University
(Yuval Noah Harari )
5. Edward Glaeser on the Economics of Cities and the COVID-19 Pandemic - 'On Cities' Masterclass Series
(Norman Foster Foundation)
6. George Hotz | Programming | reverse engineering the coronavirus #lockdown part2 | COVID-19
(george hotz archive)
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