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FIRST TAKE | Economy trumps health as dejected Ramaphosa 'saves' Garden Route tourism

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President Cyril Ramaphosa announces new restrictions in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro on Thursday 3 December 2020.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announces new restrictions in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro on Thursday 3 December 2020.
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President Cyril Ramaphosa looked sad and disappointed as he begged South Africans to obey social distancing and wear masks during the coming festive season.

With a spike in Covid-19 infections, particularly in the Eastern and Western Cape, Ramaphosa would probably have preferred to move the country back into lockdown Level 2, but the economic argument won the day as he only declared Nelson Mandela Bay Metro a hotspot.

The Garden Route – the jewel of the Western Cape's holiday tourism season – escaped censure, although hospitals in George, Mossel Bay and Knysna are running out of bed space as the municipality sees more infections than at any point this year.

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