- President Cyril Ramaphosa encouraged South Africans to perform the "Jerusalema dance challenge" this Heritage Day.
- He said this was to celebrate the diverse heritage of the nation.
- Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would move to Alert Level 1 of the lockdown from Sunday.
As South Africa gears up to move to Level 1 of coronavirus lockdown regulations, President Cyril Ramaphosa has encouraged moves of another kind: the Jerusalema dance challenge.
"I urge everyone to use this public holiday as family time, to reflect on the difficult journey we have all travelled, to remember those who have lost their lives, and to quietly rejoice in the remarkable and diverse heritage of our nation. And there can be no better celebration of our South African-ness than joining the global phenomenon that is the Jerusalema dance challenge," Ramaphosa said when he addressed the nation on Wednesday evening.
"So I urge all of you to take up this challenge on Heritage Day and show the world what we are capable of. Just as we have acted together to defeat this virus, we must roll up our sleeves and get to work, rebuilding our economy."
The Jerusalema dance challenge has taken social media by storm. People around the world are sharing videos of themselves dancing to the hit song Jerusalema by South African musician Master KG, featuring the voice of songstress Nomcebo Zikode.
The upbeat gospel-influenced house song was initially released on 29 November 2019 and has to date amassed about 140 million views on YouTube.
The Jerusalema challenge, which has been compared to the Macarena, has spawned dance videos from many countries, including Italy, Spain, France, Jamaica and Canada.
It has even been performed by US singer Janet Jackson and Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ramaphosa explained that the dance was a symbol of what South Africa managed to achieve in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We have overcome doubt and cynicism to confront the worst public health threat in living memory. We have shown what South Africans are capable of when we join forces."
Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would move to Alert Level 1 of the lockdown at midnight on Sunday.
It means larger gatherings will be permitted along with international travel, the sale of alcohol from Monday to Friday and a curfew shifted to midnight.
Read his full speech here.