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Political parties welcome end of State of Disaster Management Act

COPE’s Dennis Bloem says The State of Disaster exposed the true picture of the country we live in, the two countries in one. Image: ANA

COPE’s Dennis Bloem says The State of Disaster exposed the true picture of the country we live in, the two countries in one. Image: ANA

Published Apr 5, 2022

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Johannesburg - Political parties have welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa to end the State of Disaster Management Act, saying it was long overdue.

The president said the end of the National State of Disaster is an important milestone in the fight against the pandemic.

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“While the pandemic is not over, and while the virus remains among us, these conditions no longer require that we remain in a National State of Disaster. The pandemic can be managed in terms of existing legislation and regulations together with the regulations currently being contemplated in terms of the National Health Act,” said Ramaphosa.

Congress of the People (COPE) said the past two years were very difficult and traumatic to the people of the country.

“Covid-19 caused untold destruction across the board. Many people lost their lives. The most painful thing that we will never forget, is that many people lost their loved ones without having an opportunity to spend the last moments with them to say goodbye. Many children are left as orphans. Funerals of Covid-19 victims were very traumatic, unAfrican and painful,” said Cope national spokesperson Dennis Bloem..

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Bloem said the economy is destroyed, thousands of workers lost their jobs and are still unemployed, many businesses are completely destroyed, and the future of many people and their families was disrupted.

“The State of Disaster exposed the true picture of the country we live in, the two countries in one. One rich and one poor. The extent of poverty in the country was exposed. It also exposed the extent of corruption in the country. We saw heartless people masquerading as servants of the people. They used Covid-19 as an opportunity to steal millions of rands meant to fight this vicious enemy,” he said.

Bloem further said “We saw a Health Minister and Health MEC being fired because of their involvement in the PPEs scandals. Our heroes and heroines that came out of this two years war are doctors and nurses, and all health workers who were and are still in the frontline to fight the enemy. We are taking our hats off to them. We must not forget the role police and soldiers played during the difficult two years”.

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EFF noted the announcement, however said In what has been a long drawn-out series of unscientific, irrational and inconsistent application of lockdown regulations, Ramaphosa has finally come to the realisation that the ad-hoc power provisioned by a pandemic, cannot be sustained forever.

“Having failed to build a single new hospital, failed to motivate our people to vaccinate and becoming an ambassador of Western Vaccines which are given to the nation by his funders Aspen, Ramaphosa has conceded to sanity.

“It must be stated clearly that Ramaphosa presided over the death of our people, and whilst doing so, oversaw massive PPE corruption. The corruption went to the highest level in his office, further confirming his complicity in corrupt activity,” said EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Thambo.

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Thambo further said “Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko, was implicated in PPE corruption to the tune of R125 million, his health minister Mkhize implicated in corruption scandal to the tune of R150 million and MEC’s across the country using death as an opportunity to loot”.

He said the EFF will carefully scrutinise the National Health Act and the pandemic regulations that will be integrated into the act.

“We must ensure this government does not smuggle regulations into law, which will give them power to micro-manage the political terrain and enhance their ability to conduct illegal and corrupt procurement,” Thambo said.

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