The Democratic Alliance (DA) has requested that President Cyril Ramaphosa lift four lockdown restrictions in order to better serve the economy. This comes after Cabinet approved another extension of the National State of Disaster to 15 October 2020.
DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Haniff Hoosen said an extended lockdown is a last attempt by the African National Congress “to loot dwindling State coffers”.
“This extension has nothing to do with saving lives and has everything to do with the ANC’s unfettered urge to empty South Africa’s dwindling State coffers,” said Hoosen.
‘THE LOCKDOWN NO LONGER SERVES ANY PURPOSE’ – HOOSEN
Quoting Ramaphosa as saying “[government] has to a large extent run out of money and we are going to have to cobble the money together,” Hoosen said the reason is that the ANC stole it all and insisted on subjecting South Africans and the economy to one of the world’s longest and hardest lockdowns.
“The lockdown does no longer serve any purpose other than destroying livelihoods and killing businesses. Instead of an extended lockdown, the government should have announced measures to ease the debilitating effects of this lockdown on South Africans’ lives,” said Hoosen.
With the Ramaphosa expected to make announcements in the week to come, Hoosen said he must ensure that the following restrictions are completely lifted:
- That all sectors of the economy resume business, under strict health and hygiene protocols in order to resuscitate our dying economy and to safeguard the livelihoods of all South Africans; this includes the sporting and entertainment sectors, event companies, hotels and tourism;
- The President must ensure that our borders are open for international travel in line with clear health and hygiene protocols and in acknowledgement of individual responsibility;
- In consultation with the Minister of Home Affairs, the president should allow for embassies abroad to be instructed to issue emergency travel documents on application for those citizens who are stranded abroad as a result of expired travel documents during the lockdown; and
- The national curfew must be lifted to allow people to move around freely in support of individual responsibility.
South Africans have learned to live with this virus by adhering to COVID-19 health protocols such as wearing masks and social distancing.
“We overcame this virus, not because of the irrational lockdown regulations, but because of South Africans who took personal responsibility for their health and safety. It is time to end this irrational lockdown to get all our industries back to work,” added Hoosen.
IS A MOVE TO LEVEL 1 LOOMING?
According to Business Tech, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said he can’t tell when exactly Level 1 will be instituted but he knows there are discussions taking place. He also said the sooner it comes, the better.
Ramaphosa, during a briefing with the South African National Editor’s Forum (Sanef) on Wednesday evening, said the following regarding a possible move to a new lockdown level; “This is where we will need advice from the medical advisory committee, as well as, from our net joints, which is the real engine of the monitoring our coronavirus approach, so we will be giving consideration to all that and watch this space, next week as far as where we end up as a nation as far as this is concerned,” he said.
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