The outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to adversely impact all socio-economic sectors. Worldwide, countries are battling with high rates of morbidity and mortality, unprecedented economic contraction, and recession. Productivity and demand for goods and services are on the decrease leading to the COVID-19 induced de-industrialization. In Southern Africa, over 80% of the active workforce depend on the informal economy for their livelihood, as cross border traders, vendors, and small-scale informal manufacturers. The long-term closure of borders and differentiated approaches of opening the borders has harmed cross border trade.
This publication provides a summary given in short stories of how cross border traders, families of miners and women in communities have been navigating and overcoming the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The partners covered in the stories include the Lesotho Cross Border Traders Association, BoHiKZN, Botswana Labour Migrants Association, Association of Mozambique Miners, Sinqobile Kingdom Empowerment Centre and Cross Border Traders Association of Malawi.