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On Monday 23 March 2020, the President announced that, starting Thursday at midnight, the country would go into a 21-day lock down period. All South Africans will have to stay at home for the next three weeks unless they are involved in essential goods and services, including the provision of food.
This is a critical message to all food and feed producers, traders, processors, logistic companies, ports, farmers and input suppliers. South Africans are used to relying on a highly competitive and effective food system, which will now be tested to its limits, especially in rural areas where critical information is lacking and we have a big concentration of vulnerable people. Effective collaboration and coordination between communities, the private sector and government will be decisive and researchers and analysts will have to support decision makers with accurate information and analyses.
In this second brief on the impact of COVID-19, we present an overview of food expenditure in South African households