UPDATE | Ramaphosa expected to extend current lockdown restrictions, continue clampdown on alcohol

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President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa
  • Current lockdown restrictions are expected to continue.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Monday night.
  • South Africa's recorded Covid-19 death toll has surpassed 33 000 and infections increased by 17 412, taking the total to 1 231 597.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to announce an extension of current Covid-19 restrictions for another month, following a series of meetings and consultations with relevant structures.

Despite a court application by SA Breweries (SAB), there will be a continuation of the restrictions on the sale of alcohol beyond 15 January.

Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation at 8pm on Monday on developments in relation to the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The address follows meetings in recent days of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) and Cabinet," the presidency said. 

"President Ramaphosa also hosted a virtual engagement on Sunday 10 January 2020 between government and interfaith leaders on the Covid-19 Risk Adjusted Strategy which is an inclusive national effort that enables adaptive responses to the shifting pandemic. This engagement focused on the unfolding pandemic in the country and on the continent, including efforts to secure vaccines for all." 

News24 understands that a curfew will remain in place and that restrictions on gatherings would continue.

Insiders said Ramaphosa could make an announcement on the reopening of schools - a huge cause for concern because the new variant of Covid-19 in South Africa is said to be affecting children.

Earlier on Monday, Department of Basic Education (DBE) head of department, Mathanzima Mweli, said DBE would, on Tuesday, present the findings of their research on Covid-19 in schools to the National Coronavirus Command Council.

"That meeting will decide whether they will allow us to proceed with the reopening of schools. From our side, the dates are what we communicated," Mweli said.

ALSO READ | School reopening dates to stay the same… for now - basic education department

The Cabinet held a special meeting on Sunday to discuss the adjusted regulations. Premiers and religious leaders were also consulted.

The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) met last week already.

READ | SA Breweries to face off against government in court over alcohol ban

Gauteng Premier David Makhura said, during a visit to Pretoria's Steve Biko Academic Hospital, that the provincial command centre would give a detailed briefing on the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic on Tuesday, after the president makes his announcement.

Ramaphosa's expected address comes as numbers in Gauteng continue to rise, and as reported cases in other provinces, such as Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape, are also becoming a concern.

Makhura said the provincial government would not ask for a hard lockdown because the negative impact on livelihoods and businesses would be too severe.

ALSO READ | No hard lockdown for SA, ANC NEC resolves amid rising Covid-19 infections

South Africa's recorded Covid-19 death toll surpassed 33 000 on Sunday and infections increased by 17 412, taking the total to 1 231 597.

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