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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Ramaphosa announces end of the national State of Disaster

Ramaphosa said on Monday night: “Since the requirements for a National State of Disaster to be declared in terms of the Disaster Management Act are no longer met, Cabinet has decided to terminate the National State of Disaster with effect from midnight tonight.”

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that Cabinet has taken a decision to end the national state of disaster. File Picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 4, 2022

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PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that Cabinet has taken a decision to end the national state of disaster.

Ramaphosa said on Monday night: “Since the requirements for a National State of Disaster to be declared in terms of the Disaster Management Act are no longer met, Cabinet has decided to terminate the National State of Disaster with effect from midnight tonight.”

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He added that going forward, the pandemic will be managed in terms of the National Health Act.

“The draft Health Regulations have been published for public comment. Once the period for public comment closes on the 16th of April 2022 and the comments have been considered, the new regulations will be finalised and promulgated.

He said certain transitional provisions will remain in place for a period of 30 days after the termination of the National State of Disaster to ensure essential public health precautions and other necessary services are not interrupted.

These transitional measures, which will automatically lapse after 30 days, include:

- Masks are still required for indoor public spaces

– Restrictions on gatherings remain in place with 50% of the capacity of a venue allowed for vaccinated people or those who produce a negative Covid-19 test. For the unvaccinated, a maximum of 1000 people are allowed for indoors and 2000 for outdoor gatherings

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- Travellers entering South Africa must show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test

- Payment of the R350 social relief of distress grant to remain in place

He said all other disaster-related regulations fall away at midnight.

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Ramaphosa said the “end of the national state of disaster is an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic”.

“It is a moment to remember those who lost their lives and those still struggling with the effects of the disease. It is also a time to pay tribute to the health-care workers, police, soldiers, volunteers and other front line workers for their dedication and service during the worst times of the pandemic.”

He added that the end of the National State of Disaster is a firm statement of the determination to “live our lives and rebuild our country even as this virus remains in our midst”.

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“It should give all of us the confidence to return to the lives we led before the pandemic, with a few simple adjustments to protect those around us. It should provide our businesses with certainty that they can operate and invest without the prospect of further restrictions.”

THE MERCURY

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