Ramaphosa rubbishes rumours of move back to level 3
Durban: President Cyril Ramaphosa has denied that there are plans to move the country back to level 3 in the wake of a spike in Covid-19 cases.
On Tuesday, Ramaphosa said the rumours were "simply not true". He was responding to questions from the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) regarding the pandemic and the government’s fight against corruption.
"What we now need to do in light of what we are going through, I don't want to be alarmist and I don't want our people to be alarmed with the rumours such as that we are going to level 3, that is simply not true and I want to assure everyone that that is not true," he said.
Ramaphosa added that if the need arose, he would be the one to advise the country.
"All we need to do is adhere to our preventative measures and wear your masks," he said.
Leading South African economist and chief economist of the Efficient Group Dawie Roodt said another lockdown would be devastating for the economy.
"The economy is in the deepest crisis we have ever been in, it's even worse than the Great Depression and we will see a dramatic increase in poverty.
’’Poverty is by far the biggest killer in the world and will kill far more people than this virus will ever kill over the next say 10 years, that's as far as my calculations go," Roodt said.
He said it would be ill-advised if the lockdown was deepened.
"We need to completely scrap the lockdown as soon as possible and that doesn't mean we should be irresponsible, but each individual must take responsibility for themselves," he said.
Commenting ahead of the expected Mid-Term Budget policy speech by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday, Roodt said if the lockdown was further imposed, then the speech would mean nothing.