Lockdown will be lifted once 'sustainable sectoral regulatory measures' are in place - Ramaphosa

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Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa praat gisteraand met Suid-Afrikaners.
Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa praat gisteraand met Suid-Afrikaners.
  • Lockdown will end once "sustainable sectoral regulatory measures for Covid-19 response are in place".
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa did not say what these measures would be or when they were expected.
  • Ramaphosa was responding to a parliamentary question from DA leader John Steenhuisen.

South Africa's lockdown will be lifted once "sustainable sectoral regulatory measures for Covid-19 response are in place", said President Cyril Ramaphosa in a late response to a parliamentary question.

But he did not say what these measures would be or when it could be expected to be implemented.

DA leader John Steenhuisen asked Ramaphosa, in a written parliamentary question, whether specific conditions had to be satisfied before the national state of disaster was lifted.

Ramaphosa responded: 

All organs of state must develop sustainable regulatory measures for the control of Covid-19 beyond the state of disaster. Measures must be infused into policies and regulations to normalise Covid-19 preventative measures in the society.

"The current measures contained in the regulations for dealing with the disaster in the context of the risk adjusted strategy remain necessary to limit the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Once sustainable sectoral regulatory measures for Covid-19 response are in place or the need to invoke current extraordinary measures provided for under the state of disaster ceases, all the regulations and directions issued under the national state of disaster will cease to exist.

"Accordingly, ongoing assessments by the National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet will determine the satisfaction of conditions for terminating or allowing the state of disaster to lapse."

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In his response, Ramaphosa didn't specify or elaborate on the "sustainable sectoral regulatory measures".

On Sunday evening, Ramaphosa eased lockdown restrictions to Level 2.

In response, Steenhuisen called on Ramaphosa to commit to an end date for all lockdown restrictions and the state of disaster.

Steenhuisen said in a statement:

This deadline needs to be announced now, so that businesses affected by lockdown restrictions can plan accordingly. It is not something that can be decided and announced at the last minute, as this would put even more businesses and jobs in jeopardy.

In his statement, Steenhuisen also referred to his question, which he asked on 17 August, but which was at the time still unanswered. The executive has 10 days to respond to questions, in terms of Parliament's rules, but a further 10 days can be requested.

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Steenhuisen said Ramaphosa should set out the criteria his Cabinet required for the state of disaster to be lifted, "so that everyone can know whether these are rational and fair decisions".

According to the reply, the question is dated 20 August, and the due date was 3 September. Parliament released the response on Wednesday, 15 September.

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