Statistics South Africa has published a new report detailing how the coronavirus pandemic and the associated lockdown has impacted South Africans.
The report is based on data collected from a series of web-surveys conducted between 29 April and 6 May 2020, with 2,688 respondents surveyed in total.
While the survey results are not representative of the entire South African population, they are indicative of the types of challenges facing South Africans during these unprecedented times, the stats body said.
The majority of the respondents (almost 70%) indicated that they were in paid employment before the national lockdown, followed by those in self-employment at 15.3%.
Almost nine in ten (89.5%) of those who were employed before the national lockdown, remained employed during the lockdown. By comparison, 8.1% reported that they lost their jobs or had to close their businesses and 1.4% became unemployed.
Almost 70% of those who lost their jobs reported it was due to their place of work or business shutting down or due to the lack of customers.
The survey also found that more than half of respondents (56.2%) said that their income has stayed the same since the national lockdown started, while 25.8% of respondents reported a decrease in their income.
About one in ten respondents (11.2%) indicated that it was too soon to tell what impact the pandemic would have on their income.
The primary reasons cited by respondents for the decrease in their income since the start of the national lockdown were, that they had to close their businesses due to the lockdown; the business / company / organisation they work for closed due to the national lockdown; and a decrease in the demand for their goods and services.
Some of the other key financial findings from the study include:
- Roughly three out of every four respondents (74.9%) who had income reduced reported that they had reduced their spending to compensate for the loss of income, while about half of those respondents (51.7%) indicated that they accessed their savings to close the income gap;
- Roughly one in three respondents (36.8%) also relied on extended family members, friends and/or their communities for support;
- Claims from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) was used by 14,6% of these respondents as coping mechanisms;
- 19.5% of respondents said that their spending was about the same before and during the national lockdown. However, more than one-third of respondents (38.6%) reported that they were spending less per week during the lockdown compared to their weekly spending behaviour before the national lockdown, while another one-third (35.8%) indicated that they were spending more per week.
You can read the full report below: