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South Africa to study coronavirus effect on economy

Three universities will survey 10,000 South Africans monthly

Universities in South Africa have embarked on a study to examine the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the country’s economy.

Researchers from the universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and the Witwatersrand will survey a nationally representative group of 10,000 South Africans every month for the next six months. They will ask respondents via telephone interviews about unemployment, household income, hunger, and government grants. 

The first results, for May, will be available by mid-June. “It helps us get at important things that internet surveys can’t,” said Ronelle Burger, one of the lead investigators.

South Africa’s economy was already under pressure before the pandemic hit. Now analysts say the economy could contract by up to 6 per cent in 2020.