South
African
Sociological
Association

SASA is committed to a democratic South Africa,

where all enjoy economic, political and social justice
and freedom from all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, nationality, race and gender.

Changes & Challenges

Awareness


Committed to the development of a vibrant social science community in Southern Africa.

SASA Covid19 statement

SASA Statement on Covid-19 and the issues arising

  1. The South African Sociological Association is in support of the extraordinary measures which the government has taken in order to flatten the infection curve of Covid-19 infections.

Social disparities will require sensitivity to and consultation with people who live in the informal settlements, the homeless and other sectors of society whose conditions of life may militate against optimal and beneficial implementation of the measures.    

  1. The association is mindful of the fact that mass movement and public gatherings will be affected far beyond the initial lock down period. 

In this respect, the association is concerned about the continued education of the millions of students who have been sent home from the universities. 

  1. Particularly, we wish to register our concern that measures to use online methods for student teaching and assessment will disproportionately affect students from working class background and those with insecure access to the internet (devices, data costs).

We therefore urge the authorities concerned at all levels to take measures to ensure that these communities of students are not left behind.

  1. We are further concerned that, despite the fact that this pandemic presents a systemic challenge that affects all, universities have not adopted a uniform approach in their response.  

Systemic coordination among all universities and other centres of higher education is strongly urged in order to ensure consistency and in the event of a national dialogue regarding strategies to respond to the pandemic. 

  1. Finally, there are reports that certain sections of the University staff communities were not fully consulted in the process leading to certain decisions. This will likely be counter-productive at a time when an all hands on deck approach is required. 

We urge a reappraisal of that approach. 

  1. We commit our efforts as researchers to exploring the lessons of this situation for future use.

Now more than ever, we should strengthen social solidarity especially for and amongst our vulnerable populations while also making use of new innovative means that honour the principle of physical distancing that is crucial to fighting this pandemic.

Trevor Ngwane                                                           Aisha Lorgat

President                                                                   Secretary

 

On behalf of the SASA Council


© 2020 SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION