President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA) 
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA) 

Coronavirus in SA: 7 key announcements after Ramaphosa declared a State of Disaster

By SAMKELO MTSHALI Time of article published Mar 30, 2020

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Johannesburg - South Africa is in the first week of the government-sanctioned 21-day lockdown put in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

By Monday, the country had 1280 confirmed Covid-19 cases and two confirmed deaths which resulted from the virus. 

These are seven key announcements made since President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster on Sunday 15 March.

1. Following Ramaphosa’s declaration of a national state of disaster, Police Minister Bheki Cele immediately placed a curfew on the selling and consumption of alcohol. Before the lockdown commenced the sale of alcohol was banned after 18.00pm on weekdays and after 13.00pm on weekends. 

2. The National Command Council, established to combat the spread of the virus, decided to enforce a 21-day countrywide lockdown with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March until midnight on Thursday 16 April.

3. Following the lockdown, Cele announced a total ban on the sale and consumption of liquor during the lockdown with people only allowed to consume liquor inside their own homes. 

4. Ramaphosa announced that South Africans, who returned to the country on flights coming from high-risk countries that the government prohibited when declaring the virus a national state of disaster, would be turned back.

5. Government set up the Solidarity Fund, chaired by Gloria Serobe and Adrian Enthoven, with the aim of combating the spread of the virus and to help track the spread. 

7. Ramaphosa also announced that the Rupert and Oppenheimer families had both contributed R1 billion apiece to help small businesses amidst the outbreak and spread of the virus. 

7. Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe’s Motsepe Foundation and its associated companies pledged R1 billion towards the fight against the ‘invisible enemy’, the coronavirus.

Political Bureau

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