Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa is reportedly meeting with premiers and mayors from around the country, as they decide on the next move in the fight against Covid-19.
News24 reported that the Presidency’s Council meeting was being held on Tuesday.
The report quoted Western Cape Premier Alan Winde as saying that he will urge the president to end the National State of Disaster immediately.
“South Africans, especially those who are unemployed, should not have to wait until 15 April (and likely longer) because the national government has simply not done their job in time, despite having months to prepare. It is concerning to me that despite public utterances that the priority of the national government is to create jobs, its actions seem to show otherwise. It’s time to bridge this gap and show the courage needed to get our economy growing again,” the report quoted Western Cape Premier Alan Winde as saying.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs recently extended the National State of Disaster by a further month.
In a statement, Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced that the National State of Disaster would be extended until April 15.
This, she said, was designed to allow government and organs of state to have enough time to “continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements” so as to implement measures that would further curb the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the announcement, AfriForum said it would go ahead with court action against the government over the state of disaster.
“This again proves AfriForum’s point that the government has no plans of ever giving up the powers they have grabbed under the guise of an emergency over the last two years.
“There is no reason to continue the state of disaster unless you’re a power-hungry politician or the countless corrupt individuals who are profiting from emergency procurement irregularities,” Afrforum’s campaign manager Jacques Broodryk said.
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa also criticised the latest move by the government, saying his party will join the court battle over the extension.
“The UDM will be joining others as friends of the court as we challenge the constitutionality of the extension of the Covid-19 state of disaster.
The UDM will be joining others as friends of the court as we challenge the constitutionality of the extension of the Covid-19 state of disaster.
The sport, tourism and hospitality industries must be relieved.
— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) March 16, 2022
“The sport, tourism and hospitality industries must be relieved,” Holomisa said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Times Live quoted DA leader John Steenhuisen, as saying that the extension was a disaster.
“It’s an absolute disaster. Frankly, the only state of disaster that exits in SA is the cabinet that is presiding over some of these terrible decisions. It’s going to be another month of tying people up with red tape and silly regulations we don’t need,” the report quoted Steenhuisen as saying.
Earlier, Steenhuisen had called for an end to Covid-19 restrictions, saying they were now pointless and were harming the economy.
“Covid-19 is no longer a greater threat, it’s time to treat it the same way we treat other health risks such as HIV, TB, cancer, and maternal mortality,” EWN quoted him as saying.
South Africa on Monday recorded 566 new Covid-19 infections and 9 deaths.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Betha Madhomu