The IFP welcomes this evening’s address by President Cyril Ramaphosa, which outlined a number of measures to curb the transmission of Covid-19 in our country, and further announced the adjustment to Level 3 lockdown.
This address was expected, as many South Africans have let their guard down and acted irresponsibly during this festive period. In addition, the excessive consumption of alcohol has led to many social ills, and contributed towards reckless behaviour. The prohibition of the sale and on-site consumption of alcohol is therefore welcomed.
The IFP believes that with the current and new restrictions in place, increasing the tracking, tracing and testing for Covid-19 must happen in conjunction with an increase in quarantine sites, burial and cremation sites, while ensuring that all health facilities are equipped to manage a surge.
The prohibition of indoor and outdoor gatherings for 14 days is welcomed, in addition to the adjusted curfew of 21h00 to 06h00. The strengthened preventative measures – with strong consequences for those who refuse to adhere to the lockdown regulations – are long overdue.
We also welcome the announcement of additional Coronavirus Hotspots in various provinces, as outlined by the President. However, government’s decision to close beaches only in hotspot areas misses the point. Beachgoers will flock to St Lucia, for example, as Durban is a hotspot and those beaches will be closed. We therefore believe all beaches should be closed to the public.
With over one million cases reported and over 50 000 new cases recorded since Christmas Eve, we must now take the strongest action in order to save lives.
However, the President failed to mention the impact that these stricter regulations will have on the economy, and, in particular, on small and medium enterprises. The IFP urges President Ramaphosa to announce financial safety nets for the many industries that are at risk of shutting down.
The IFP urges all South Africans to remain home, to practice social distancing, to wear masks and to fully adhere to all the adjusted lockdown regulations.
Narend Singh, MP
IFP Chief Whip in Parliament
083 788 5954