Winde to discuss Western Cape’s localised restrictions with President Ramaphosa
Cape Town – Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has announced that the provincial government is considering its own local intervention and restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Winde’s announcement comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on Tuesday.
Winde said: ”While we are considering our own interventions, the Western Cape government does intend to engage the president on our position on existing regulations during this meeting tomorrow. This is because all regulations under the Disaster Management Act are promulgated by the national government and not provincial governments.”
Ramaphosa is expected to hold his presidential co-ordinating council meeting on Wednesday, where he will be engaging and consulting with the nine premiers to address the resurgence.
“During this consultation, the Western Cape will strongly argue against any blunt instrument, such as a lockdown, being imposed on the province.
“We must first do everything possible, through our individual and collective action to ensure the resurgence is rolled back and to prevent this tool from ever having to be used again,” said Winde.
Among the interventions considered by Winde is around gatherings. “Our surveillance teams have traced many cluster outbreaks to indoor gatherings of people, as the virus spreads quicker in confined spaces when there is poor ventilation.
“The number of people permitted to gather indoors, currently at 250, is too high and this needs to be reconsidered for specific hot spots where the virus is spreading faster,” he said.
The next two weeks for the country is crucial as the national state of disaster expires next Tuesday.
The discussion comes amid fears of a possible stricter lockdown as the number of infections grow in some parts of the country including the Eastern Cape.
Meanwhile, in the Western Cape some regions will no longer allow public events which may lead to large numbers of people.
Winde will be outlining his plans in his weekly press conference on Thursday.
The premier added that he will also communicate to the president that provincial governments should be delegated more powers to implement interventions close to specific geographic hot spots.
"This localised approach will allow for each area’s specific challenges to be taken into account and prevent blunt tools that have unintended consequences.
"All these interventions need to be underpinned by a major behaviour change push, we need increased communication by all spheres of government on the safety precautions that residents should be taking over the festive season, and the national Government should assist hot spots in this respect."