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Empirical analysis on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food insecurity in South Africa.

Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C

Ngarava, S.

October 2022

The study sought to ascertain the changes in the food insecurity status of households during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study made use of secondary data obtained from the 5 Waves of the National Income Dynamics Study-Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM). Descriptive statistics, food insecurity index and independent sample t-test were used to compare the mean differences in the food insecurity statuses of the households over the 5 Waves. The study found that there was an increase in food insecurity as the COVID-19 progressed from Wave 1 to 5. Significant differences at the 1% level were observed between Wave 5 and Wave 1 as well as between Wave 5 and Wave 3. The study concludes that there was food security in the initial progression of the COVID-19 pandemic which deteriorated. The study recommends a reconsideration of the scrapping of the top ups on the social grants. This will likely tighten the dire economic situation the households find themselves in. There is need to expand the social safety nets to accommodate the vulnerable in society. Short and localised value chains should be promoted to improve food accessibility during times of crisis.

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