President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stern, honest and sobering update on the state of government’s interventions in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 this evening was a missed opportunity to knuckle-down and decisively deal with the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
The largely cosmetic changes announced by the President are insufficient in mitigating the risk of transmissions.
We believe that the President, together with the National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet, should reconsider the country’s lockdown alert level; from level three to four.
Merely ‘updating’ the alert level regulations is not enough.
The IFP notes with grave concern the following:
- The President did not make any pronouncements on the suspension of schools, as we believe that schools should remain closed until after we have reached the peak of our infections;
- However, the IFP will continue to mobilise for the closing of schools to prevent and to possibly slow down the rate of infection and to protect the lives of our children;
- The 100% occupancy rate of mini-bus taxis grinds against the grain of social and physical distancing regulations. We believe that a national consultative dialogue between government and the taxi-industry must take place urgently.
- The provision of clean drinking water in water-starved areas across the country must be addressed urgently, if we are to assist the poorest and most vulnerable in curbing the spread of Covid-19.
While we are aware of the difficulties in restricting people’s movements, the 21h00 to 04h00 curfew, together with the immediate suspension on the sale and distribution of liquor, and the more stringent legal requirements for the wearing of masks, are welcomed.
The President aptly dubbed this phase we are entering as a deadly storm – we agree that we have not reached the eye of this storm and therefore the IFP echoes the announcement by the President.
This stern warning must be heeded, as we have reiterated that it is incumbent on citizens themselves to adhere to protective and preventative measures – not doing so will undermine all efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.
We urge all South Africans to heed government’s call to act with greater vigilance, care and to at all times adhere to the lockdown regulations.
With an infection rate of over 12 000 cases per day – and today marking 276 242 cases – we must take personal responsibility to safeguard our communities and country from the spread of infections and any further deaths.
We convey our heartfelt condolences to the families, loved ones and friends of those who have passed away due to Covid-19 to date, and we extend our gratitude to all medical professionals serving on the frontline.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa, MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539