Social Protection in South Africa: Building back better post-COVID-19

Date: September 8, 2020
Time: 13h00 - 17h00
Venue: Live on Zoom & Facebook

Register here to join the webinar, or view it live on the CoE-FS Facebook page.

COVID-19 has exposed crucial gaps in South Africa’s social protection system. As the end of the 6-month emergency relief measures approaches, the question of “what next?” is becoming increasingly urgent.

How effective has the expansion of social grants been, together with innovative interventions like the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS), in protecting vulnerable individuals and households affected by the lockdown? Going forward, is a universal Basic Income Grant (BIG) or Basic Income Support (BIS) for 18-59 year-olds a realistic possibility?

Our webinar, taking place on Tuesday 8 September 2020 at 13h00, asks how South Africa’s social protection system can “build back better” after COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted, to ensure that all citizens and residents realise their constitutional right to appropriate and adequate social security, not just during national disasters but at all times.


  • Isobel Frye, Director, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute
  • Lynette Maart, National Director, Black Sash
  • Alex van den Heever, Adjunct Professor, Wits School of Governance

Stephen Devereux, SA-UK bilateral research chair in social protection for food security at the Centre of Excellence in Food Security, will serve as moderator for this webinar.

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We recognise that producers, processors, distributors and consumers are incorporated into the food system under varying terms and returns. We also recognise the economic, social, human and environmental health impacts associated with food security. Therefore our goal is to conduct research, build capacity and disseminate findings that will promote a sustainable food system in South Africa.


Our research is concerned with the scale, nature, causes and consequences of food insecurity in South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent. Thus our mission is to investigate products, technologies, processes and policies that can reduce food insecurity and mitigate its negative outcomes. We seek to make a difference to food security by linking innovative science with critical enquiry.