MULTIMEDIA | The best of our coronavirus coverage so far

The best video and audio content compiled so far by the MultimediaLIVE team during the coronavirus pandemic

21 May 2020 - 13:49 By Scott Peter Smith
Gauta Makhethe in his makeshift structure that he calls home when he is in South Africa. He is among a group of men who live on the roadside in Midrand.
Gauta Makhethe in his makeshift structure that he calls home when he is in South Africa. He is among a group of men who live on the roadside in Midrand.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

The worldwide emergence of Covid-19 has created unprecedented responses around the world not seen for more than a generation. 

Globally, more than 5-million people have been infected by Covid-19 and already 320,000 people have lost their lives. In SA, thankfully, we seem to have got a handle on the pandemic, thus far, when compared with some other countries. Yet still we have had more than 300 deaths, nationally. The relatively low infection and death rate have come with a hard economic cost to the country's citizens. 

The multimedia team focused on getting behind the story, keeping it on the streets and documenting, through fair reporting, how South Africans have responded, while shining a light on those worst affected by the lockdown. 

Group video editor Reinart Toerien says, “The impact of Covid-19 on society is a deeply personal one for every single person in the world. Our aim in covering the coronavirus was to provide a voice to as many different untold personal stories, from as many spheres on the ground, as possible.”

We bring you the best of what we have produced so far.


Smugglers, patrols & desperation - shambles at
SA’s R37m Covid-19 fence

Smuggling between SA and Zimbabwe is rife in Musina, Limpopo. Zimbabweans, facing a dire food security situation, can no longer buy food in the town as the coronavirus pandemic has led to the closure of the border with SA. Despite the erection of a R37m fence, which was completed on April 20 2020, food is still regularly being smuggled into Zimbabwe.

Multimedia journalist Emile Bosch travelled with Sunday Times reporter Graeme Hoskin to get behind the story. 


Jobless and stranded in SA: Lesotho informal workers
left in limbo during lockdown

Informal part-time work is the bread and butter of many foreign migrant workers in SA. They travel to SA to look for jobs, work for a few months and head back home with some money for themselves and their families. A group of men from Lesotho who came to SA for that reason, are now stranded in the country for much longer than they expected, thanks to the lockdown.

Multimedia journalist Deepa Kesa talked to some of those most affected by the lockdown.


South Africans abroad share experiences in lockdown away from home

With spiralling numbers of global confirmed Covid-19 cases, social distancing and quarantine measures have been instituted across much of the world, with stay-at-home orders implemented by most governments. Global coronavirus cases (at the time of publishing) were approaching 2-million, with more than 126,000 deaths. Six South Africans living on different continents amid the pandemic, shared their experiences of what lockdown is like away from home.

Multimedia intern Andisiwe May talked to them and shared their stories. 


Vulnerable spaces: Business as usual at Johannesburg's
potential Covid-19 hotspots

The country’s economic hub, Johannesburg, was feared to be a catalyst for the spread of the novel coronavirus in the early days of the lockdown. As SA prepared for a potential spike in locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, we took a closer look at the most vulnerable areas in Johannesburg.

Multimedia journalist Zama Luthuli spoke to the most vulnerable.


Mitchells Plain emergency centre during lockdown

We followed Dr Fallin van Rooyen on her night shift on the front-line of Mitchells Plain District Hospital's emergency centre. According to Van Rooyen, gunshot traumas and stabbings have “reduced dramatically” since the ban on alcohol was introduced. During the month of February, before lockdown, the emergency centre saw 245 trauma patients coming through its doors. However, a month after lockdown, by April 27, that number had almost halved to 128.

Senior multimedia journalist Anthony Molyneaux spent a night at the centre.


Podcast series: Boots on the Ground

Boots on the Ground is a short podcast series documenting SA’s national lockdown. In this short podcast series, we followed Sunday Times reporter Alex Patrick and senior reporter Graeme Hosken, as they tracked, recorded and reflected on the real events and people that make up SA’s biggest Covid-19 news stories.

Series producer Paige Muller said, “The series is the first co-ordinated attempt at mobile journalism. Every sound gathered, including the voice over done for each episode, is collected using smartphones. The goal is to give our listeners as real an experience, of what our journalists go through to gather Covid-19 stories, as possible.”


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