Health and education growth in South Africa

7 Apr 2020


Like many parts of the world, South Africa is currently on lockdown to try and decrease the chances of COVID-19 spreading throughout the region. Or flatten the curve as we’re so often told. 

There are roughly 3.2 million people older than 65 matching the COVID-19 age risk profile. Unfortunately, if the infection spreads and critical care is needed then the 90,000 hospital beds and just over 3,000 critical care units, are simply not enough to handle such an outbreak.  

ABiQ’s population prediction for South Africa shows that by 2030 the region will grow by 14% to 68 million people. How does this impact its healthcare investment? 

Even without COVID-19 or any other unexpected ‘event’, we estimate more than 11,000 additional hospital beds will be needed.  Therefore, a further 57 hospitals have to be built. This only maintains the current healthcare standard and does not include critical care facilities. To support the servicing of these facilities, over 1,600 physicians will need to be trained and developed over the next decade.  

Impact on education

Home-schooling is quickly becoming the new norm due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is the perfect time for governments, educational institutes and technology companies to come together.  They need to explore the opportunities that are opening up to provide a solid and structured online learning program for future generations. 

In Sub-Sahara Africa, ABiQ estimates that by 2030, there will be 177 million primary pupils and a further 130 million in secondary school. This brings the total school-going children to well over 300 million. This represents an estimated increase of 53 million school children from 2020. 

If we look at what this means for educators, there will need to be an additional 1.3 million teachers in Sub-Sahara Africa by 2030. This represents a forecast growth of 28%. 

 This figure is based on assuming a child to teacher ratio of 40:1, which is recommended by UNESCO. But if they introduce a 25:1 ratio, for example, this number would grow to a staggering 2.1 million teaching positions. 

With Sub-Sahara Africa’s population reaching as estimated 1.28 billion people over the next decade, this growth will open doors for online learning and regional expansion. 

 Want to know more about Africa’s educational forecasts and how we can support? Get in touch with a member of our team. 

Still have questions?

Our team is ready to help.

Get access to trusted and valuable data to inform your business decisions and open opportunities for growth.