Move to Level 3 may happen before end of May, says Ramaphosa
Johannesbrg - President Cyril Ramaphosa says consultations with different stakeholders will begin on Friday as the country prepares to move from Level 4 to Level 3 of the national lockdown.
Ramaphosa said during his visit to the Eastern Cape on Thursday that the government plans to meet with various interest groups including consulting labour through Nedlac.
He said consultations would then move on to provinces and an announcement would be made. He tried to calm fears saying the move from Level 3 was guaranteed and it could happen even before the end of May.
On Wednesday night the president addressed the nation justifying the hard lockdown saying it had saved lives and decreased infections.
On Thursday he said the consultation processes would start as early as tomorrow. "We are going to be meeting with our social partners at Nedlac and the different provinces. We hope to conclude this process very quickly. When I declared this lockdown it had been preceded with a process of consultations including with political parties. Everybody agreed. We are doing the same thing now as we go into Level 3.
"We are going into Level 3 and it might even be earlier than the end of the month. No need to get hot under the collar, once the consultation is done we will make an announcement. Other areas based on scientific evidence may remain in Level 4," the president said.
Ramaphosa said as the country eased out of the lockdown people's perceptions and actions would have to change as the virus would remain for a long time. He said there should be greater awareness on measures such as social distancing, personal hygiene and wearing masks.
He said the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) was important especially for health workers who were on the frontline of fighting the virus.
"We need to continue changing our behaviour. People shouldn't stress we are going to get out of these levels. We are not committed for life to the levels that we are in. The other area of changing behaviour is implementing social distancing. Regular hand washing with hand sanitizer and soap. These are things we need to talk about, changing the behaviour of our people. As we change our behaviour we must be able to make it part of our lives," the president said.IOL
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