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Ubuntu and COVID-19 in South Africa: Surviving the Pandemic through Community Solidarity


This article investigates the relevance of the African philosophy of ubuntu in the South African context during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data is drawn from the available academic literature and analysed using the elements of ubuntu as a theoretical lens. A systemic review was adopted as a methodological approach for the selection and review of scholarship that fosters unity and solidarity in times of crisis. The discussion delineates the impact of COVID-19 in South Africa and the significance of ubuntu in building community solidarity and resilience. It further demonstrates the universal nature of ubuntu with its intention of upholding togetherness and unity in times of crisis and renewal. Community solidarity ensures social protection and belonging, thereby propagating ubuntu as a way of navigating the global pandemic. Despite the contestations of the meaning and application of ubuntu, the findings of this study postulate that ubuntu is essential in times of crisis and renewal.


Ubuntu, Social Protection, Community Solidarity, COVID-19 Pandemic, South Africa



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