President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Siyabulela Duda/GCIS

LIVE FEED: Ramaphosa addresses the nation

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Jul 23, 2020

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Johannesburg/Pretoria - President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8pm on the country's risk-adjusted strategy to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The presidency confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

Ramaphosa's address follows a Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday afternoon which was expected to discuss the issue of closing schools following calls from teacher unions.

Unions have called for schools to be close for at least two to three weeks until the country reaches its peak.

The peak was expected between August and September, according to Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The country as of Tuesday had recorded 394 948 Covid-19 cases and 229 175 recoveries. Covid-19 deaths stand at a total of 5 940 and over 2.5 million tests have been conducted.

The issue of closing schools has been a controversial topic as the government had indicated that it was important to save the 2020 academic year.

Union leaders of Sadtu and Naptosa had separately told the media on Wednesday that their meeting with Mhaule had indicated that Cabinet was closer to meeting their demands.

Naptosa executive director Basil Manuel was adamant that the union leaders were adamant about the closure of the schools. Sadtu’s general secretary Mugwena Maluleke also shared the same sentiment.

Both Manuel and Maluleke said the infections will continue to rise if teachers and learners continue to remain in school.

According to union leaders, the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will make their recommendation to the Cabinet later today.

It will then be up to President Cyril Ramaphosa or Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to make an announcement.

Earlier this week, Motshekga told the NCOP that she had tabled a consolidated report to NCCC and Cabinet following her marathon consultation with various stakeholders in the education sector.

In her presentation, Motshekga said there were conflicting views among stakeholders in education, saying bodies such as school governing bodies, South African Human Rights Commission were in favour of schools staying open, but teachers unions were adamant that schools should close.

Political Bureau

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