DA slams 'irrational' level 3 lockdown regulations
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Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance on Thursday slammed the regulations that will govern South Africa's coronavirus (Covid-19) alert level 3 lockdown as an ill-considered assault on democratic rights.
"The release of government’s level 3 regulations today [Thursday] by [Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs] Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma confirms our view that our government is no longer focused on fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, their focus has shifted to undermining the hard-fought freedoms of all South Africans," DA cooperative governance spokesman Haniff Hoosen said in a statement.
The new regulations, effective from Monday, June 1, were" illogical, irrational, and devoid of scientific basis". "South Africans have long lost their confidence in our government’s ability to manage the lockdown in a manner that had originally attracted the full support of all political parties and South Africans," he said.
The DA supported the decision to allow churches to reopen with safety measures such as physical distancing, but failed to understand why this could not equally apply to restaurants. Similarly, he said, the decision to keep hair salons closed was ill-considered and devastating to the industry.
"There is no justifiable reason why government finds it acceptable to allow dozens of commuters to travel on planes and taxis, yet a salon cannot operate with five persons with the same levels of safety and sanitation protocols," Hoosen said.
He added that the continued ban on the sale of cigarettes should be lifted, especially in light of the widely-panned reasons advanced by Dlamini-Zuma in reply to a court challenge to the ban. "We do not believe that the continued ban on the sale of cigarettes is justifiable after the reasons offered by minister Dlamini-Zuma in her court papers. Cigarettes should be sold, which will bring an end to the booming illicit trade which is costing us billions of rand and harming millions of consumers."
Hoosen suggested that the move to allow alcohol sales to resume but to restrict trade to Mondays to Thursdays, would do more harm than good because it would cause crowding in liquour stores on Thursdays.
The regulations were published by Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday. They include a provision that so-called coronavirus hotspots, which include Cape Town and six other metropolitan regions, could be moved back to higher alert levels with tighter restrictions should efforts to contain transmission rates fail.
African News Agency (ANA)