Cape Town - Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has warned that if the fifth wave hits the country with a surge in numbers and hospitalisations, the government will bring back the National State of Disaster to manage the pandemic.
Dlamini Zuma and Health Minister Joe Phaahla were on Tuesday briefing the media on the new regulations to replace the National State of Disaster.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced that the state of disaster was being lifted two years after it was introduced when Covid-19 broke out in the country.
Dlamini Zuma said they would deal with the fifth wave when it arrived.
Scientists have predicted that the fifth wave will set in during winter.
Phaahla also said they would base their decision on the increase in infections, hospitalisation and deaths.
Dlamini Zuma said they would handle the situation as it happens, but the National State of Disaster will kick in if the situation requires it.
“Whether it's wise to terminate the State of Disaster when there is a fifth wave looming, the Disaster Management Act only kicks in when there is a disaster. It doesn’t kick in in anticipation of a disaster to say we are in a state of disaster when we are not. If a fifth wave is such that the pandemic becomes a disaster, then the Disaster Management Act will come back,” said Dlamini Zuma.
She said they would have to determine at that point whether the fifth wave was such that it required the intervention of the state of the disaster.
The public has been given until April 16 to make comments on the regulations that will replace the state of disaster.