SA’s life expectancy down from 65.5 on average to 62 years due to COVID

The department was presenting at a Brics webinar focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on the population and development.

FILE: South Africa has surpassed the 90,000 mark in terms of fatalities from the virus. Picture: pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Social Development has reported a decrease in life expectancy for South Africans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department was presenting at a Brics webinar focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on the population and development.

South Africa has surpassed the 90,000 mark in terms of fatalities from the virus.

Social development’s chief director of population and development Jacques van Zuydam said this had an impact on the country’s death rate and life expectancy.

“This resulted in a significant increase in our death rate within a year from 8.7 deaths per 1,000 people to 11.6 deaths per 1,000 people. Life expectancy has declined from 65.5 on average to 62 years.”

But South Africa’s population has grown by 1% in the past year.

Van Zuydam said another contributor to the rise in population has been the major disruptions in providing adequate sexual reproductive health care, have also contributed to the decrease in population.

In South Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic that caused schools to be regularly closed has been cited as a driver of the increase in teenage pregnancy.