Cape Town - Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has said welcomed the news that the National State of Disaster will soon end, and has said that bringing an end to lockdown is long overdue.
The mayor’s comments came after the government has allowed the public 48 hours to comment on its proposed Cabinet decision to end the National State of Disaster and to introduce new measures to deal with the after-effects of the pandemic.
This was revealed by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma after a special Cabinet meeting on Monday night.
Dlamini Zuma said the new regulations would be gazetted from Tuesday evening, and citizens would have 48 hours to comment, which would allow the government to assess the comments and make a decision.
The Government Gazette was published last night – (https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-dlamini-zuma-gazettes-draft-covid-19-post-national-state-disaster-regulations)
She indicated that such a decision would probably be made before May 5 – which means another extension is looming that will probably be postponed for less than 30 days.
Detailing some of the regulations to be retained, Dlamini Zuma said the wearing of masks indoors would remain mandatory except for children under the age of 6.
She also said that the no-fault compensation would continue as more and more people would be expected to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Dlamini Zuma said President Cyril Ramaphosa would announce the date to end the National State of Disaster after public comment.
The City of Cape Town mayor said that the news that lockdown “will soon fall away is most welcome and is long overdue”.
The mayor did, however, raise concerns, that many of the restrictions now in place under the Disaster Regulations will be made more permanent under the proposed Health Act regulations.
“Events, festivals, crowds, tourists, sports matches and businesses are coming back to Cape Town. Cape Town is also among the most vaccinated places in the country.
“There is no sound scientific reason to continue to restrict outdoor gathering sizes, and these restrictions only hold back the economic recovery that is so urgently necessary.”
Meanwhile, Premier Alan Winde made his position clear again on Tuesday during his budget vote speech.
“The removal of some restrictions on the economy should not be viewed as a license to dither yet again. The State of Disaster is an extraordinary measure that cannot be extended indefinitely.
“The Western Cape government is closely studying the proposed health regulations that will be introduced under existing public health legislation, as mentioned by the president.
“We will push back hard against any measures that hurt the provincial economy, and which are not rooted in the best possible scientific advice, factoring in all recent evidence.
“It cannot be allowed to be a back door to sneak unnecessary disaster regulations back again.”
Citizens are invited to make written representations regarding the proposed amendments. Representations or comments may be submitted online using the following link: https://forms.office.com/r/tMMP6WLEf2
Comments can also be emailed to: [email protected]