This paper reports on a study to provide insights into the magnitude of the shocks associated with the recent global economic crisis in macroeconomic terms in South Africa, the country’s capacity to withstand or cushion these shocks, and the extent of fragility in terms of poverty levels and child wellbeing. The analysis combines macroeconomic and micro-economic tools to assess the extent of the crisis’ impact on the country. The study finds that the poverty headcount ratio increases little in the moderate crisis scenario, but substantially under the severe scenario. However, under both scenarios there is a relatively successful return to close to the business as usual trend. It is important to note though that under both scenarios, more poverty sensitive measures (the poverty gap ratio and the poverty severity ratio) decline more, and remain in negative territory longer, showing that the major impact of the crisis is on the poorest, and that this impact is most difficult to overcome.