Park Station in Johannesburg. Simphiwe Mbokazi/ African News Agency (ANA)
Park Station in Johannesburg. Simphiwe Mbokazi/ African News Agency (ANA)

Makhura in bid to halt exodus from Gauteng ahead of lockdown

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Mar 26, 2020

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Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has appealed to more than 15 million residents to remain in the province during the 21-days nationwide lockdown which begins at midnight on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Gauteng government, through its acting MEC for Social Development Panyaza Lesufi, also revealed that they would be accommodating “willing homeless people” in schools across the province which have boarding facilities.

Lesufi, wearing his official title of Education MEC, also announced that the provincial government was in talks with labour unions to scrap the June school holidays in their bid to catch up academically due to the outbreak of the virus.

These multiple announcements formed various measures by the provincial government to help contain the spread of the coronavirus and to bring stability in the province.

Makhura made the appeal as the number of infected people with the coronavirus in Gauteng had already risen to 366 out of the 709 reported cases yesterday.

But Makhura was adamant that, despite the increase in cases and Gauteng being the epicentre of the virus, his province still has the best medical facilities to deal with the increasing coronavirus infections compared to any other province in the country.

Makhura made the comparison while pleading with residents who wanted to use the 21 days lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday to flee to their places of birth.

His comments also came in the wake of a number of people flocking to various taxi ranks around the province, particularly to Joburg’s Park Station, where they were boarding various modes of transport to leave for their different destinations ahead of the lockdown.

“We have noted with concern that several Gauteng residents have since the announcement of the nationwide lockdown been travelling out of the province. We urge all Gauteng residents to remain in the province during the lockdown period,” Makhura said.

He added local and regional radio stations across the province were to provide lessons in maths, English, life science, history, geography and other subjects as from April 1.

Political Bureau

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