Rural–urban inequalities amplified by COVID-19: evidence from South Africa
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Area Development and Policy, 6:1, 50-62, DOI: 10.1080/23792949.2020.1851143
Like most governments around the world, the South African government adopted a uniform, place-blind response to the coronavirus pandemic, including a hard lockdown. New evidence from a large household survey reveals that the socioeconomic effects have widened pre-existing inequalities between cities and rural areas. More could be done to complement national relief programmes with targeted efforts to boost jobs and livelihoods in the most vulnerable areas. In addition, the premature withdrawal of relief measures before the economy has recovered would aggravate the hardship in poorer communities that have come to rely on these resources following the jobs slump.
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