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We will not be reckless in lifting State of Disaster, says Ramaphosa

Operation Lockdown, a crime-fighting co-operation between the police, army and other law enforcement agencies. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Operation Lockdown, a crime-fighting co-operation between the police, army and other law enforcement agencies. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 17, 2022

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has shot down suggestions by the opposition to lift the State of Disaster saying he is not going to be reckless, but orderly in how he manages it.

He said he had said in the past they would like to lift the State of Disaster but the pandemic was not over and they need health measures to contain the virus.

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He said they had wanted 70% of the population to be vaccinated but they have not reached that stage with about 41% of the adult population vaccinated.

He also said some of the people were still infected with the virus and others hospitalised.

Opposition parties said the time for the State of Disaster was over.

But Ramaphosa said they still need to manage issues like the wearing of masks in enclosed environments where there was no ventilation.

“As I have said I want to see the state of disaster coming to an end, but I am not going to be reckless. I am going to be orderly. I am going to be orderly and in days I am going to address the nation and explain precisely where we are headed to and how we should traverse this new route that we are going on,” said Ramaphosa.

He also denied claims by the opposition he was killing jobs with the continued State of Disaster.

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He said they were protecting lives and livelihoods with the measures of keeping people to wear masks.

The virus is still not over as people still get infected, hospitalised and die.

The government wanted to introduce health measures to deal with the pandemic.

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“What we have said is that we will move away from the harder State of Disaster regulation to a health one because we are dealing with a health pandemic, a pandemic that affects our health as a whole. That requires a regulation so that when we are together like this the speaker should be able to say, as she does all the time, wear a mask. She needs an instrument to be able to direct us to wear that mask. That is a health regulation that we have now put in place. If you have a problem with that, I am sorry we are the government. We have got to put regulations in place because as opposition you have a different view, but are not the government,” said Ramaphosa.

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