Ramaphosa holds meetings ahead of expected move to level 1 lockdown for South Africa

 ·15 Sep 2020

President Cyril Ramaphosa will chair a virtual meeting on the President’s Coordinating Council on Tuesday (15 September) ahead of the country’s expected move to a level 1 lockdown.

A statement issued by the presidency indicates that the coordinating council will be co-chaired by the president and deputy president David Mabuza, and will also include ministers, premiers and leadership of the South African Local Government Association.

The presidency confirmed that the meeting will focus on a report from the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on the country’s response to the pandemic. News24 reports that a move to a possible level 1 lockdown is expected to form part of the discussions.

Ramaphosa is also expected chair a virtual meeting of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) on progress towards the finalisation of a national economic recovery plan.

“The social partners – government, business, labour and community – have been meeting over the last few weeks to develop a common approach to rebuilding the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic,” the presidency said.

“Nedlac is a dialogue platform that brings together social partners in developing effective policies to promote economic growth and increase participation in economic decision making and social equity in South Africa.”

The City Press reports that Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation later this week where it is anticipated that he will announce the further easing of the lockdown.

Opening up 

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, chairperson of the ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19, says that South Africa should be able to ease a number of restrictions when government announces a move to a level 1 lockdown.

Karim said it was no longer a case of preventing certain activities but rather ensuring that ‘super spreader’ events don’t occur which could spark a second resurgence in coronavirus cases.

“In those settings, we have to have a situation where we reduce our risk of a super-spreading event. But issues like the curfew and restrictions around alcohol have largely served their purpose.

“They were put in place to protect hospitals, we don’t have an issue with hospital space and beds at the moment, so they are less critical at this point or not even needed.”

Karim said that the government can also look at the opening of international travel as there are key guidelines in place to reopen in a safe manner.

Read: 4 new lockdown changes for South Africa

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