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Winde has asked President Ramaphosa for a meeting about exiting the state of disaster

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde giving his annual State of the Province Address. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde giving his annual State of the Province Address. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 16, 2022

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Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde said he is disappointed that President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the state of disaster by a further month.

During his State of the Province Address (Sopa) on Tuesday, Winde said he had asked for a meeting with the president so that they could get the full roadmap for exiting the national state of disaster, including exact timelines.

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“To be clear, we want the date and the time, and not generalised commitments,” Winde said.

Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma made the announcement of the extension on Monday.

The state of disaster is now set to expire on March 15. This would result in the country being under a state of disaster for nearly 24 months, as it was first declared at the end of March 2020.

“The extension follows a special Cabinet meeting to determine the extent to which the management of the Covid-19 pandemic still requires the existence of the national state of disaster and the legal framework to manage the virus outside the Disaster Management Act,” Dlamini Zuma said.

She said the extension would allow the government to establish alternative measures to detect and contain further outbreaks.

Mayco member for economic growth and tourism James Vos said the Disaster Management Act was doing the economic recovery more harm than good. He aid it was no longer necessary for managing the virus.

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“South Africa needs certainty. Investors need it, tourists need it, teachers need it, schoolchildren need it,” Vos said.

Economist, and senior analyst at the Centre for Risk Analysis, Bheki Mahlobo, said the extension of the national state of disaster would add to the uncertainty faced by a lot of businesses in an already low-growth environment.

Mahlobo said businesses needed to have certainty when it came to regulations so that they could plan their operations.

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“At this point, it only serves to give the government time to introduce new regulations outside of the Disaster Management Act, which the president announced last week,” Mahlobo said.

He said businesses that might be affected would be those holding outdoor events such as festivals, those running sport stadiums, as well as other businesses.

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