President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that South Africa will be moving to Level 1 lockdown on Wednesday evening, barely a month after Level 2 changes came into effect. This rapid-fire move through the gears will be a blessing for a battered economy, after COVID-19 cases continued to decline sharply on our shores.
Ramaphosa made his 19:00 address with a rare bit of good news for us all. Mzansi is beginning to get a foothold in the battle against coronavirus, but absolutely nothing has been won yet. The president was keen to remind South Africans to continue wearing masks and insisted that social distancing would remain in place for the time being.
Level 1 is the lightest form of lockdown, even if several key restrictions still remain in place. It’s a move that’s been backed strongly by the Medical Advisory Committee, and there has been little push-back from political opponents.
In total, it has taken South Africa six months to move from Level 5 to Level 1. The tumultuous road to this point has been littered with flashpoints and controversial decisions, however.
Everything from cigarettes to cooked foods were removed from supermarket shelves in a bid to limit the spread of the virus. During the tougher stages of lockdown, three-hour exercise windows and the withdrawal of retail items ended up causing a stir. Alcohol was also banned for more than 100 days, during two separate periods of prohibition.
In other news – Bheki Cele sets up a steering committee to deal with protection rackets in Cape Town
Police Minister Bheki Cele has set up a steering committee to deal with protection rackets in Cape Town.
He briefed the media on Wednesday afternoon along with Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz and Safety and Security Mayco member JP Smith. Learn more