South Africa’s Response to COVID-19 and the Return of the State in Africa

Siphamandla Zondi, Naledi Ramontja

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The authors examine South Africa’s formal response to COVID as an African state from March 2020 to December 2021. They found that the centrality of the state, as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP), Vision 2030, provided a valuable policy framework to guide strategy and operational planning in times of crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic tested the state’s capacity to deal with future epidemics of a similar nature. The authors argue that the response of the South African state to the pandemic signals ‘the return of the state to African society’ in managing longer-term crises such as poverty and underdevelopment. The African state remains the centre of building partnerships and managing social compacts, redeeming itself from negative perceptions of decades of failure. In the case of South Africa, the state performed its central role in defending society against an existential threat to human security.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Security and Epidemics in Africa
Subtitle of host publicationLearning from COVID-19, Ebola and HIV
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781040014721
ISBN (Print)9781032551357
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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