Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Lockdown: It will cost R641m to deploy army for three months

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Mar 27, 2020

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has written to Speaker Thandi Modise to inform her the army will be deployed in the streets of South Africa until the end of June.

This would come at a cost of R641 million for the next three months and close to 3 000 soldiers have been deployed by the government. 

The law requires that Ramaphosa must inform the Speaker and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo of the army deployment.

He did this last year when the army was deployed in the Western Cape for the initial three months and this was extended for another six months. 

This was to fight gang violence in the Cape Flats. In that operation the government deployed 1 320 soldiers. Initially, for the first three months the cost was R23m and after the deployment was extended for another six months this pushed the cost by an additional R64m. 

When Ramaphosa announced a lockdown earlier this week, he said the army would be roped in to help the police to enforce the lockdown.

In his letter Ramaphosa said more than 2 800 soldiers will be deployed during this period.

Several countries have resorted to lockdowns to reduce the number of people infected with the coronavirus.

“On March 23, 2020, I announced that the national coronavirus command council has decided to enforce a nationwide lockdown for 21 days with effects from midnight, Thursday 26 2020,” said Ramaphosa. He said the reason for the lockdown was to prevent the spread of the disease. 

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