South Africa will move forward with plans to lift the national state of disaster, says Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
In a media address on Tuesday evening (29 March), Dlamini-Zuma said Cabinet held a meeting on Monday on its approach to lifting the regulations and what additional rules will remain in place to aid the transition.
She added that the state of disaster cannot be lifted in a ‘reckless and abrupt manner’, and that some rules would likely remain in place for a further 30-day period once it is lifted. These include regulations around wearing maks, limitations on gatherings, and the payment of the R350 social relief of distress grant.
Regulations detailing these changes are expected to be published later this evening, with members of the public given 48 hours to comment.
Based on the comments received, president Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on lifting the state of disaster, hopefully by 5 April, Dlamini-Zuma said.
The regulations had not been published at the time of writing.
The country’s state of disaster is currently set to expire on 15 April 2022. While the national state of disaster was initially set to lapse on 15 June 2020, the act provides that it can be extended by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister by notice in the gazette for one month at a time before it lapses.
The government has relied on the regulations to introduce and give effect to lockdown restrictions, which it has used to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.