Winde wants NDZ, Mkhize to consider 'differentiated approach' for Western Cape as deaths flatten

  • Winde calls for "differentiated" approach to Covid-19 regulations for Western Cape.
  • This, to prevent further devastating unemployment, hunger and starvation.
  • Western Cape confirms Covid-19 deaths have levelled out, decreased.

The Western Cape needs different Covid-19 rules, to allow urgent economic activity and stop the "pandemic number two: unemployment, hunger and starvation".

This was argued by Premier Alan Winde on Wednesday at his weekly digicon - calling for an urgent meeting with the two lead national ministers dealing with Covid-19 - Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Health Minister Zweli Mhkhize.

Winde said the lockdown regulations had caused "pandemic number two" - the economic catastrophe it had induced. The Western Cape now urgently needed a "differentiated" approach to the national regulations - to unlock the opening up of economic sectors currently battling to survive.

These included the wine and tourism industries in particular.

Both were critically important job-providers in the province. Winde believed it was possible to ensure both these industries could open up further, while doing so safely.

On 9 May, Mkhize first spoke of different alert levels, for different parts of the country - depending on the spread of the coronavirus in different areas. However, in the more than two months since, South Africa remains on a singular set of regulations, governing the whole country.

It is this "differentiated" status, for different areas, which Winde on Wednesday called to be urgently implemented.

Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo added yet another dire danger: an increase in violence against women and children, which now loomed large as a threat, strongly linked to an economic suffering.

In the premier's weekly online digicon, the province's Health Department head Dr Keith Cloete reported that Covid-19 deaths in the Western Cape was now "plateauing" and even dropping. This could be seen by an assessment of both "actual deaths", and once potentially undetected deaths that had been factored in.

Recently, it was reported the wine industry could lose up to R7.5 billion if the ban on alcohol sales continued for six to eight weeks.

Small and medium enterprises make up around 80% of the industry and many are struggling and the wine industry is sitting on a 300 million litre surplus. 

The future of South Africa's wine industry has been plunged into uncertainty as the alcohol ban continues to impact businesses that were beginning to recover from a decade-long decline.

Also recently, it was reported South Africa's tourism sector may have already lost an estimated R54.2 billion in output in just three months as Covid-19 travel and leisure restrictions batter the industry. These losses were recorded between mid-March and the end of May.

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