Dlamini-Zuma extends South Africa’s national state of disaster

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has extended the national state of disaster by another month.

Government declared a national state of disaster under Section 27(1) and Section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act on 15 March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the state of disaster was originally set to lapse on 15 June, the act provides that the state of disaster may be extended by the Cogta minister by notice in the gazette for one month at a time before it lapses.

In a directive published on Saturday (15 August), Dlamini-Zuma said that the decision was made ‘taking into account the need to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of state to address the impact of the disaster’.

The state of disaster is now set to lapse on 15 September.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the nation about new lockdown regulations at 20h00 on Saturday. The address follows a meeting earlier this week of the National Coronavirus Command Council and meetings of the President’s Coordinating Council and Cabinet.

The president is set to ease lockdown restrictions, including the scrapping of an alcohol sales ban Bloomberg reported, citing sources close to the matter.

The country will move to so-called alert level 2, although details of which curbs will be retained are still being worked out, Bloomberg said.

“The measures that we have put in place have been working, and we are seeing a tapering off of the number of infections,” said Lungi Mtshali, a spokesman for the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Ministry, which administers the lockdown rules.

“The numbers are going down, and regular assessments will be done to open up the economy when ready.”

Read: How the coronavirus can impact your credit score in South Africa – and why your record is so important right now

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Dlamini-Zuma extends South Africa’s national state of disaster