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Podcasts

Welcome to ERSA’s Podcast Series. In these podcasts, we explore topical economic issues and see how they affect our daily lives here in South Africa. Speaking to experienced and knowledgeable people in the field, we gain perspectives and insights from both a practical and a policy level.

#7 Dr Neryvia Pillay Bell on the Fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa

Date recorded: 
Thursday, April 23, 2020

In this podcast Dr Neryvia Pillay Bell, a Policy Associate at ERSA and Senior Economics Lecturer at the University of Cape Town, discusses how South Africa’s labour market and the government budget have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With economic growth expected to decrease by 6%, unemployment levels are likely to rise significantly. Fortunately, the R500 billion fiscal stimulus, which is 10% of GDP and therefore one of the largest fiscal stimulus packages worldwide, will alleviate much social distress that otherwise would have occurred. South Africa is not alone in bearing the burden of an increased government deficit and becoming more reliant on domestic production. Having a phased reopening of the economy specific to geographical area will keep production going...Read more

Credits: 

The beat used in this production, called ‘Resolutions’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io and the photo is by Clay LeConey and can be found on Unsplash.

Covid 19 text handwriting

#6 Manoel Bittencourt on COVID-19 Economic Facts in South Africa

Date recorded: 
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

In this insightful video, Prof. Manoel Bittencourt, from Wits University’s Department of Economics and Finance, discusses the latest figures relating to the Coronavirus pandemic in South Africa. Using a live map showing the number of confirmed cases (provided by John Hopkins University) and data aggregators, we can see exactly how South Africa fairs relative to Sweden which has not implemented the lockdown, and the global average regarding healthcare expenditure, the share of people using the internet and the investment into primary healthcare. All of these factors have important repercussions regarding South Africa’s future. For now, though, the focus should be on making the COVID-19 testing process efficient.Read more

Credits: 

The photo is by @marjan_blan and can be found on Unsplash.

South Africa by satellite

#5 Alex van den Heever on South Africa’s public healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Date recorded: 
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

In this podcast Prof. Alex van den Heever, the Chair of Social Security at the Wits School of Governance discusses how South Africa’s public healthcare system is handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Even although the lockdown was introduced at an optimal time, inefficiencies in the testing protocols means that we could expect a hidden outbreak going forward. Not only would this put additional strain on our healthcare system but would be costly to the economy. We should learn from our efficient TB testing practices, and from those countries who learnt how to handle respiratory pandemics such as SARS and MERS, in order to become better prepared.Read more

Credits: 

The Ari Lennox type beat used in this production, called ‘Every night’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io and the photo is by Tai’s Captures and can be found on Unsplash.

Cape Town

#4 Chris Loewald on the Monetary Policy response to the Coronavirus pandemic in South Africa

Date recorded: 
Monday, April 6, 2020

Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic and an economic downgrade, we speak to Dr Chris Loewald shortly after the Monetary Policy Review. As the Head of the Research Department at the Reserve Bank, and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, he provides insights into how monetary policy can be used, alongside public health and fiscal policies, to protect the economy. After two quarters of slow economic growth in the South African economy, the real contractionary nature of the Coronavirus pandemic comes at a difficult time. Fortunately, with relatively low inflation, there is room for monetary policy to support our economy. By lowering interest rates, easing capital requirements and improving liquidity, the Reserve Bank supports businesses to continue to operate and earn income. Learnings...Read more

Credits: 

The beat used in this production, called ‘Resolutions’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io and the photo is by Captureson Photography and can be found on Unsplash.

Compass

#3 Nicola Viegi on the South African economic response to the Coronavirus

Date recorded: 
Monday, April 6, 2020

Nicola Viegi, Deputy Director of ERSA, talks with Margaux G on the South African economic response to the Coronavirus. Health intervention and household support is the first priority, but policies should also protect the integrity of supply chains and the integrity of labour contracts, even with temporary reductions of wages and public guarantees. The partial freeze of the economy allows speeding up infrastructure maintenance and renewal. The bureaucracy around business licensing and exporting should be simplified to the point of irrelevance. To finance these interventions, South Africa needs instruments that are efficient and coherent with its long term objectives of growth and resilience.Read more

Credits: 

The beat used in this production, called ‘Resolutions’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io and the photo is by Fusion Medical Animation and can be found on Unsplash.

Corona virus

#2 Nicola Viegi on the potential impact of the Coronavirus on South Africa

Date recorded: 
Thursday, March 26, 2020

In this podcast, Prof. Nicola Viegi, the Deputy Director of ERSA and SARB Chair in Monetary Policy Studies at the University of Pretoria, discusses the unprecedented nature of the Coronavirus pandemic. With unknowns regarding how long this shock will last and what the direct and indirect effects will be, there is much uncertainty regarding the impact on the South African economy. While the South African economy was somewhat sheltered during the Financial crisis, the Coronavirus and the resulting lockdown pose a real eternal shock to our economy. At times like this, it is important for Monetary and Fiscal Policy to work together to protect the economy. The resiliency of firms also matters because there will be more shocks in future – if not into the public health sector, possibly from...Read more

Credits: 

The beat used in this production, called ‘Resolutions’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io and the photo is by Fusion Medical Animation and can be found on Unsplash.

Corona Map

#1 Differential Impact of the Coronavirus as of end of March 2020

Date recorded: 
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Professor Johannes W. Fedderke, the Director of ERSA speaks to our host, Margaux G about the initial impact of the Coronavirus on the world. Exploring the differential impact across countries by focusing specifically on the number of confirmed cases at the time and the corresponding mortality rates, we can take some valuable learnings from countries like Germany and South Korea.Read more

Credits: 

The Ari Lennox type beat used in this production, called ‘Every night’, is royalty free and can be found at freebeats.io and the photo is by Fusion Medical Animation and can be found on Unsplash.