President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Ramaphosa says Cabinet to lift restrictions when satisfied with Covid-19 conditions

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Sep 16, 2021

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa says the ongoing assessments by the National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet would determine the satisfaction with conditions for terminating or allowing the state of disaster to lapse.

Ramaphosa said this when he was responding in writing to parliamentary questions from the DA leader John Steenhuisen.

The leader of the official opposition asked whether there were specific conditions which must be satisfied before the National State of Disaster imposed to curb the spread of the Covid -19 pandemic was lifted.

In his written response, Ramaphosa said all organs of state must develop sustainable regulatory measures for the control of the pandemic beyond the state of disaster.

“Measures must be infused into policies and regulations to normalise Covid-19 preventative measures in the society,” he said.

The president also said the current measures contained in the regulations for dealing with the disaster in the context of the risk-adjusted strategy remained necessary to limit the negative impact of the pandemic.

“Once sustainable sectoral regulatory measures for Covid-19 response are in place or the need to invoke current extraordinary measures provided for under the state of disaster ceases, all the regulations and directions issued under the national state of disaster will cease to exist,” Ramaphosa added.

His response comes in the wake of the DA pushing for the lifting of the restrictions.

On Sunday, Ramaphosa eased some of the restrictions by moving the country from Alert Level 3 to 2.

But, Steenhuisen called on the president to go further and commit to an end date for all lockdown restrictions as well as the state of disaster by mid-November.

He said the only possible reason for any further restrictions would be to allow everyone over the age of 18 the chance to get vaccinated.

Ramaphosa said vaccines were the most potent weapon to fight the pandemic.

Speaking at the Sunday “family meeting”, Ramaphosa said if many people were not vaccinated, they remained vulnerable to infection and the chance of new and more dangerous variants emerging became greater.

“That is why vaccines are currently the most potent weapon we have to fight this pandemic,” he said, adding that they should adhere to health protocols.

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Political Bureau

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