Faces of Covid-19: How the pandemic is hurting South Africans, in pictures. Share yours!

South Africa went into lockdown on March 26, with stringent measures put in place including staying at home, except for when obtaining essential services or products. From the onset, some of the regulations proved tough and were later labelled “contradictory and senseless”. While I understood why the lockdown had to be implemented and even extended, like many other South Africans, I worried about the economic aspect of it. Within the first few weeks, two of my friends lost their jobs. Another close friend had to “justify” why her current employer should keep her as opposed to another colleague doing the same job. Living in the heart of Johannesburg, it’s sad to see the many street beggars increasingly asking for help to feed themselves. A lot is being said about the need for government to find balance between saving lives, rescuing an ailing economy and ensuring that the livelihoods of its citizens are protected and I couldn’t agree more. In this series, we look at the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on South Africans, through pictures. Please feel free to send yours to my email address [email protected]. – Lindiwe Molekoa

Covid-19: South Africa (in pictures)

From Sharon Sibanda (Egolisquash Coordinator):

These images are from Egolisquash Youth Empowerment (EYE), an outreach project of Joburg Squash, which was established in 2009 to focus on empowering 2500+ young people especially in the Johannesburg Inner-city, Soweto and Alex communities where the family unit is being broken down, households are struggling with high unemployment rates, and youth are exposed to environments of crime and violence nearly every day of their lives.

With South Africa’s lockdown introduced in March, a significant number of Johannesburg Inner-city, Soweto and Alexandra townships and informal settlements dwellers working in the low-income industries such as restaurants, hotel staff or domestic workers faced retrenchments due to lockdown. For these communities, hunger and malnutrition has begun to replace Covid-19 as existential fear.

Coupled with this, a significant number of Johannesburg disadvantaged youths without access to computers or smartphones have been trapped in the digital divide gap and are unable to attend online learning platforms implemented by schools due to lockdown restrictions.

Thus, the level of need has geared the EYE organisation to ensure virtual programming; food security and nutrition are included in the response as service delivery, economies, and food systems have disrupted due to Covid-19 pandemic.

From Twitter:

@venter_larissa wrote: #LightSARed campaign to highlight the economic difficulties facing the events & entertainment industry. So many friends have lost their jobs and opportunities as a result of the lockdown – sending them strength support and praying that things will get better #jobssavelives

@RicketyBWiner wrote: Together we are stronger. #JobsSaveLives #SalariesFeedFamilies #TourismMatters

@LAvenirWines wrote: Uniting with the restaurants and wineries of Stellenbosch to save jobs. #JobsSaveLives #SaWineLockdown #DrinkSouthAfrican

From Bloomberg:

A street vendor sits beside a roadside tyre stall in the Alexandra township of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday, June 11, 2020. The near-decade of mismanagement and corruption under former President Jacob Zuma combined with the coronavirus outbreak and loss of South Africa’s investment-grade rating have left the economy in its worst state in the democratic era. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
A man looks through the contents of a trash can in the Waterkloof Glen suburb of Pretoria, South Africa, on Thursday, June 11, 2020. The near-decade of mismanagement and corruption under former President Jacob Zuma combined with the coronavirus outbreak and loss of South Africa’s investment-grade rating have left the economy in its worst state in the democratic era. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Covid-19 pandemic
Local residents wearing protective face masks wait at a bus stop in the Imizamo Yethu township area of Hout Bay, in Cape Town, South Africa, on Friday, July 24, 2020. South Africa’s surging coronavirus infections and the resumption of rolling blackouts are clouding the outlook for the economy. Photographer: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg

Help us document how Covid-19 is affecting South Africans. Please send your pictures to: [email protected]

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