Push to reopen South Africa’s international borders by next month

Western Cape premier Alan Winde says that he will push for the reopening of the country’s international borders as part of the country’s move to a level 1 lockdown.

Winde said he will be attending the President’s Coordinating Council meeting on Tuesday (15 September) where president Cyril Ramaphosa will be discussing the next phase of lockdown with ministers and the premiers of all the provinces.

“During that meeting, I will motivate for the further opening of business and economic activity on the grounds that the citizens of this province have proven that they are able to take individual responsibility by changing our behaviour.

“The Western Cape Government is also well prepared for COVID-19 and has shown that we are able to track and manage this virus, and we continue to flatten the curve. Our province-wide hotspot management also continues.”

Winde said he will be pushing for the following changes:

  • Lifting the curfew;
  • A date, in October, for the opening of international travel is declared so that bookings can be made by international travelers who want to come to our country;
  • Saving jobs and business by allowing more economic activity such as events and sporting events.

The Western Cape was one of the hardest-hit provinces by the coronavirus pandemic, and was the first to pass its peak in cases. Winde has indicated that the province is now ready to ‘open up’ and that international travel is fundamentally important to its local economy.

As of 14 September, the Western Cape has 2,935 active cases of Covid-19, with a total of 107,784 confirmed cases and 100,784 recoveries.

Lifting restrictions 

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that the government is reconsidering a number of restrictions as the country looks at easing its lockdown.

Having observed evidence that suggests a sustained decline in coronavirus transmissions, Mkhize said that the Department of Health have considered easing restrictions in these areas:

  • The evening curfew;
  • The current limitations around the sale of alcohol;
  • Limitations around religious gatherings;
  • Certain travel restrictions.

Mkhize said that these recommendations have been made as part of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), which will make final recommendations to cabinet.

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

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Push to reopen South Africa’s international borders by next month