- The national state of disaster has been extended by a month.
- Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said there was a need to augment legislation with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The announcement comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to address the nation tonight.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has extended the Covid-19 national state of disaster by another 30 days.
In a government notice published on Saturday, she said the lockdown has been extended for another month, until 15 September, "taking into account the need to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of state to address the impact of the disaster".
Her extension comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa is poised to address the nation at 20:00 on Saturday.
PRESIDENT TO ADDRESS THE NATION ON SATURDAY 15 AUGUST 2020— Presidency | South Africa ???? (@PresidencyZA) August 15, 2020
President @CyrilRamaphosa will address the nation at 20h00 this evening on developments in South Africa’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of COVID-19. #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/PztxvlkM73
Ramaphosa's address follows a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on Tuesday and meetings of the president's coordinating council and Cabinet this weekend.
News24 this week reported that the NCCC and Cabinet were advised to lift the ban on the sale of cigarettes and alcohol and move the country to Level 2 of the nationwide lockdown.
News24 confirmed that Ramaphosa chaired meetings with the NCCC and Cabinet on Tuesday, where the overwhelming argument was in favour of fully reopening the economy.
This comes as fewer new cases have been reported nationally in recent weeks.
Officials countrywide have said that hospitals were not full to capacity and that the country's recovery rate showed a positive trajectory.
The economy has lost billions in revenue due to the ban on alcohol and cigarettes.
The government has stated that the month-long ban on alcohol had a positive impact in that there were fewer trauma cases in hospitals.