President Ramaphosa – put South Africa first – end the lockdown

The State of Disaster – already extended – comes to an end today, and there is no clarity at all on what happens next.

This is unacceptable. The stranglehold this places on our country goes way beyond the immediate damaging effects of the regulations enforced under the State of Disaster, because it is the uncertainty that inflicts the most damage.

Millions of livelihoods are in peril as thousands of businesses cannot plan for the immediate future, and every day more and more of them are taking the heart-breaking decision to close their doors.

South Africa’s daily Covid-19 infection rate is declining, taking pressure off our public health system. At the same time, our recovery rate has increased significantly.

While this is no reason to drop our guard, it is reason enough for President Ramaphosa to end the lockdown immediately and entirely.

“There can be no more talk of levels that don’t serve any purpose whatsoever other than to obliterate what’s left of the economy and jobs. There can be no more bowing to narrow interest groups or the agendas of ANC factions.

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The lockdown must be ended right away, and along with this the irrational bans on alcohol and cigarettes as well as the curfew and travel restrictions must be lifted. And there can certainly be no consideration to extend the State of Disaster,” said John Steenhuizen, the leader of the Democratic Alliance.

“This is not the view of the DA nor business nor any specific interest group. It is the widely held view of the vast majority of our society, including government’s own political allies and its own scientific advisors.

Just this week, both Cosatu and Nedlac urged the President to end a lockdown that cannot be justified.

The scientists on the Ministerial Advisory Committee have long said that the lockdown should be lifted. We welcome this support for a view the DA has held ever since the initial three weeks of lockdown came to an end, and we urge the President to listen to these voices,” added Steenhuizen.

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