Covid-19: ANC fears 'catastrophic outcome' if lockdown regulations are scrapped altogether

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Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
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  • The public has until Thursday midnight to comment on draft Covid-19 regulations. 
  • The government plans to end the national state of disaster, but wants health regulations implemented first to mitigate the spread of the virus. 
  • The ANC says if no cushioning regulations are in place before the state of disaster was ended, the country would be gravely impacted. 

The ANC believes the country will be back to catastrophic pre-pandemic levels if no regulations are promulgated once the national state of disaster is scrapped. 

The party welcomed the gazetting of regulations for public comment by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. 

The regulations were published on 29 March and public submissions set to close on Thursday. It followed a decision by the Cabinet to end the state of disaster.  

The ANC said if there were no regulations when the state of disaster was scrapped, the country would be affected. 

READ | Government extends National State of Disaster again

The regulations had been in place since March 2020. The government had been criticised for not lifting the state of disaster. 

Political critics, including the DA, said the measures were hampering economic recovery. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated last week during his national address that he would end the state of disaster. 

However, some of the regulations put in place along with it would have to remain to help mitigate any threats of the pandemic. 

READ | Lockdown: Govt moving 'towards the end of national state of disaster', R350 grant to continue

Some of the regulations that would likely remain under Covid-19 health regulations, include relaxed rules on mask-wearing, the payment of the R350 social in distress grant and other health measures.

The ANC said that Dlamini Zuma had the legislative right to put in place transitional post-disaster measures to help tackle a post-state of disaster environment. 

The party said on Thursday that regulations were necessary. 

"The public health measures published in the 'transitional' regulations are very critical to prevent or manage a further devastating wave of Covid-19. Furthermore, the published regulations will create a situation where the country will be able to mitigate and manage the effects of Covid-19.

"It is of critical importance to take note that should there be no 'transitional' regulations from Cogta, and the national state of disaster is terminated before the health regulations are promulgated, the country will be back to the pre-March 2020 situation.

"The scenario of not having the 'transitional' regulations will erode all the gains that the country has made during the past two years. This will also be catastrophic to the country and the health sector, both public and private," the ANC said.

The government would assess the public comments and Ramaphosa was expected to end the state of disaster after consideration, Dlamini-Zuma said on Tuesday. 


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