The extension of the National State of Disaster to 15 October 2020 by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is just a another attempt by an autocratic regime to cling onto its dictorial powers and loot what’s left of relief funding.
This extension has nothing to do with saving lives and has everything to do with the ANC’s unfettered urge to empty South Africa’s dwindling State coffers.
Recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa was quoted saying that “[government] has to a large extent run out of money and we are going to have to cobble the money together.” The reason that South Africa has run out of money is because his party stole it all and insisted on subjecting South Africans and our economy to one of the world’s longest and hardest lockdowns.
The lockdown does no longer serve any purpose other than destroying livelihoods and killing businesses. Instead of an extended lockdown, the government should have announced measures to ease the debilitating effects of this lockdown on South Africans’ lives.
With the President expecting to make announcements in the week to come, he must ensure that the following restrictions are completely lifted:
- That all sectors of the economy resume business, under strict health and hygiene protocols in order to resuscitate our dying economy and to safeguard the livelihoods of all South Africans; this includes the sporting and entertainment sectors, event companies, hotels and tourism;
- The President must ensure that our borders are open for international travel in line with clear health and hygiene protocols and in acknowledgment of individual responsibility;
- In consultation with the Minister of Home Affairs, the President should allow for embassies abroad to be instructed to issue emergency travel documents on application for those citizens who are stranded abroad as a result of expired travel documents during the lockdown; and
- The national curfew must be lifted to allow people to move around freely in support of individual responsibility.
South Africans have learned to live with this virus by adhering to Covid-19 health protocols such as wearing masks and social distancing. We overcame this virus, not because of the irrational lockdown regulations, but because of South Africans who took personal responsibility for their health and safety. It is time to end this irrational lockdown to get all our industries back to work.
Haniff Hoosen / DA