The IFP notes the difficult announcement made this evening by President Cyril Ramaphosa, that our country is now officially in the third-wave of Covid-19 and therefore the entire country will now be placed under Adjusted Lockdown Alert Level 4.
The IFP believes that this announcement should stand as a clear admission of government’s inability to be proactive in taking advice from experts and making decisions based on international best practices.
Government simply ignored the IFP’s request to place an immediate travel ban to and from India as early as December last year, yet now we face another mammoth challenge, with the discovery of the Delta Variant on our shores.
We have and always will support government decisions that prioritise the saving of lives, while balancing the preservation of sustained livelihoods through limited economic activity, and an increase in government funds being appropriated towards service delivery and social relief efforts. We therefore, note the 14-day move to Adjusted Lockdown Alert Level 4, with additional travel restrictions placed on Gauteng.
We remind government that the Lockdown is not a permanent arrangement, as the consequences are far-reaching economically and otherwise. By taking this step, government is now making use of reactionary measures, instead of being proactive.
It is high time that government owns up to its failures. The effects of the many early mistakes and current poor decisions taken by our government have resulted in failures in procuring, purchasing and successfully rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine throughout the country.
We hope that the measures outlined by the President as regards Alert Level 4 – such as the implementation of a total ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol, the prohibition of all indoor and outdoor gatherings, a stricter curfew and the earlier closure of schools and tertiary institutions – will significantly curb the transmission and spread of Covid-19 for a period of 14 days in order to flatten the curve.
Indeed, it is worrying that President Ramaphosa made no mention of the impact this announcement and its additional measures may have on the upcoming IEC Voter Registration Weekend, and the 2021 Local Government Elections.
It is certainly unfortunate that our country finds itself in this dire situation. Our efforts in fighting the spread of Covid-19 are now compounded with the discovery of the Delta Variant, which is known to be extremely transmissible through person-to-person contact.
It is therefore imperative that government takes swift action in ramping up the vaccine roll-out programme.
We strongly urge all South Africans to strictly comply with the Adjusted Lockdown Alert Level 4 Regulations and to once again stand united in the fight to fundamentally disrupt the chain of transmission of this deadly virus. All residents must ensure that maximum precautionary measures are taken to save lives.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa, MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539