President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares himself to address the nation. .Photographer:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares himself to address the nation. .Photographer:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Ramaphosa to address the nation tonight at 8pm

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Feb 1, 2021

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Johannesburg - With the first million Covid-19 vaccine doses touching down at OR Tambo International AIrport at 3pm on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the nation later this evening at 8pm.

Ramaphosa, along with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and other dignitaries, will welcome the cargo flight from India to great fanfare this afternoon before pronouncing later on the amended lockdown regulations for the month of February.

Tyrone Seale, the acting spokesperson in the Presidency, said tonight’s address was aimed at communicating developments in relation to the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The address follows meetings in recent days of the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Co-ordinating Council and Cabinet.

“The president’s address will be broadcast and streamed on a range of platforms that are accessible to South Africans and international audiences,” said Seale.

Ramaphosa is expected to address several issues relating to the spread of the coronavirus.

Infections have begun to decline rapidly, with infections now averaging around 4 000 cases a day, compared to the highs of over 20 000 daily cases a day in early January.

The rapid rise of infections from December, which saw daily infections at around 8 000 cases a day after December 16, led to Ramaphosa banning the sale of alcohol for a third time this financial year.

Ramaphosa is also expected to announce whether alcohol sales will be allowed again after liquor traders gave the government seven days to unban the sale of alcohol last Monday.

Heineken South Africa, which distributes alcohol brands such as Windhoek, Amstel, Miller and Soweto beers, has already announced that it will institute retrenchments for 7% of their workforce, while their competitors at the South African Breweries have laid off over 500 temporary staff in light of the persistent alcohol bans and has not ruled out the possibility of retrenchments.

SAB also announced it could no longer invest in CapEx projects mooted at over R2.5 billion in light of the alcohol bans.

Meanwhile, this weekend residents at several Western Cape beaches embarked on protests against the beach ban by flocking to beaches in a mark of civil disobedience.

Ramaphosa is also expected to outline if beaches are to stay closed or not, after they were closed in mid-December as the second wave peaked.


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