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HSRC Releases Public Perception Survey on COVID-19

April 29, 2020

Department of Science and Innovation

Preventive behaviour change messages on COVID-19 have to be stepped up and South Africans need to be encouraged to take responsibility for their own behavior.

In a statement, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) added that “targeted, tailored and culturally appropriate messages need to promote voluntary behavior actions (hand washing, social distancing and masks)”.

The HSRC has released the findings of a public perception survey on the impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 on South Africans.

The survey was conducted in two waves with the first, conducted from 27-31 March focused on awareness levels and knowledge about the virus and the second, conducted form 9 April – 16 April, focused on the impact of the lockdown on South Africa.

Other recommendations include that South Africans need to adopt social distancing and wear a mask when in public, build a social compact to create a new model between the health care system and the local community at municipal level – take medicines to the home, develop a social compact between communities and the public and private sectors to ensure sustainable financial and social relief – include food banks at the district level, introduce better regulation of tobacco sales in informal markets and law enforcement should be provided with clear guidelines and support to enable them to deal with intentional violators and risk takers.

Some findings of the survey include that the majority of people adhered to the regulations with 99% either having left their homes for food, medicine and social grants or stayed home; just under a quarter (24%) of residents had no money to buy food with 55% of informal settlement residents having no money for food and between 45% and 63% of people reported that the lock down would make it difficult to pay bills, debts, earn income, feed their families and keep their jobs.