- President Cyril Ramaphosa will update South Africa on the latest lockdown developments on Saturday.
- It has widely expected that the country will move to Alert Level 2 with certain restrictions being lifted.
- The address will be broadcast live on News24.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on developments in South Africa's risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of Covid-19 at 20:00 on Saturday.
In a statement, the Presidency said Ramaphosa's address follows a meeting earlier this week of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and meetings on Saturday of the President's Coordinating Council and Cabinet.
News24 earlier reported that the NCCC and Cabinet had been advised to lift the ban on the sale of cigarettes and alcohol and move the country to Level 2 of the nationwide lockdown.
News24 has confirmed that Ramaphosa chaired meetings of the NCCC and Cabinet on Tuesday, where the overwhelming argument was in favour of fully reopening the economy.
This is in light of the fact that fewer confirmed Covid-19 cases have been reported daily.
Four sources, who have knowledge of the discussions, told News24 that the economic devastation of the cigarette sales ban could no longer be justified.
The country has lost billions of rand in tax revenue as a result of the ban, while the illegal selling of cigarettes has flourished.
The same argument was made for the reinstated alcohol ban, which has been in place for the last month.
Officials said they were told that hospitals were not overwhelmed as expected, and that South Africa's recovery rate showed a positive trajectory.
Ramaphosa's address will be broadcast live on News24.
More to follow.