[Opinion] Life expectancy in SA likely to fall as living standards deteriorate

Tawanda Makombo | 14 Oct, 2020
There is a risk that South Africa’s life expectancy which is the average period that a person may expect to live, may fall from the current levels which are comparable to those of emerging markets.

The latest World Bank data shows that South Africa’s life expectancy is at 76.8 years compared to China’s 76.7 years, Brazil’s 75.7 years and 77.3 years for Russia.

Different factors are key to influencing the levels of life expectancy in a country. For instance, socio-economic aspects, which include employment, income, education, the quality, and access to healthcare are key determinants of how long people may live. South Africa risks declining life expectancy, as long as people’s living standards continue to fall.

Tawanda Makombo, analyst at the Centre For Risk Analysis (CRA) notes, “There is a possibility that life expectancy in South Africa will fall as the quality of life worsens. Many people cannot afford medical aid, a nutritious diet and even access to clean water. The Covid-19 pandemic has also negatively affected the majority of people in South Africa by crippling an already suffering economy therefore worsening the quality of life."

Article by Tawanda Makombo

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