Western Cape ‘not off the hook’ as it looks to avoid local lockdown restrictions

Western Cape premier Alan Winde has welcomed president Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision not to introduce local restrictions in the province.

In a national address on Thursday (3 December), Ramaphosa announced that Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape will face a localised lockdown due to a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

The president said that other hotspot areas, including the Garden Route District in the Western Cape, will be visited by Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize in the coming days to advise on response strategies.

“We welcome this decision and the trust that he has placed in our government and our people to manage the resurgence we are seeing, particularly on the Garden Route,” Winde said.

“We especially welcome that both the president and minister listened to our input and advice during consultations this week. This commitment to consultation is precisely what is needed during this challenging time.”

Winde said that the decision to not impose additional restrictions will protect the local economy, ensure that businesses are able to continue trading, that tourism can continue, and that jobs will be saved.

“However, as the president announced yesterday, we are not off the hook yet.

“Currently, the National Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, is visiting the Garden Route and is meeting with our teams – led by our provincial minister Nomafrench Mbombo – to see the situation on the ground for himself and to relay his feedback to national structures.”

Winde said that the Western Cape will present its plans to manage the resurgence – in line with a three-pronged approach of continuing its health response, ensuring behaviour change in communities and enforcing existing level 1 regulations effectively.

“I have faith in our health response and in our continued ability to manage this resurgence, and I will be submitting a plan to the President, on his request on Monday.

“We need the help of every person, business, civil society group and faith-based organisation to now deliver against this plan and ensure that we roll-back this resurgence.

“Indeed, we need to show that we can get the situation control through our own actions. And this requires every one of us to change our behaviour and ensure that we do not get infected with Covid-19 or spread Covid-19. ”

Winde called on residents to follow the below safety guidelines:

  • Wearing a mask so that it covers both your nose and mouth.
  • Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water or using hand sanitizers when out in public.
  • Keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and any other person to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Avoiding crowds and non-essential gatherings
  • Ensuring you have good ventilation in any place that you go, by making sure the windows and doors are open.
  • Keeping those essential gatherings spacious, and well ventilated.
  • Always making smart, safe and responsible choices whenever you are out in public, so that you protect yourselves and others around you.
  • Staying home if you feel sick and call our toll-free hotline on 080 928 4102 for information on what to do next.

“I know we are all tired and we want this difficult year to be over. I do too. Let’s finish 2020 strong, and let’s show South Africa and the world that we can again flatten the curve in the Western Cape.”

Read: South Africa’s state of disaster extended into 2021 as Ramaphosa announces local lockdown restrictions

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Western Cape ‘not off the hook’ as it looks to avoid local lockdown restrictions