DA submit alternative Level 4 lockdown plan to ‘return power to the people’
The official opposition have suggested that all stores reopen and industry leaders be given control of their respective survival strategies.
With South Africa set to move to Level 4 lockdown on Friday 1 May, the Democratic Alliance (DA) have said that the proposed lockdown exit strategy proposed by the African National Congress (ANC) government is not comprehensive enough to save the flailing economy.
The opposition party have outlined a new list of “alternative lockdown regulations” that it believes would better benefit the economy and the liberty of struggling South Africans.
DA proposes wider economic revival
The party’s Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry, Dean McPherson, said that the proposed relaxation of restrictions is inadequate.
“South Africa needs a much wider opening of the economy than suggested by government’s Level 4 lockdown proposals.”
“Government’s approach to specifying who can and cannot work in Level 4 is unnecessarily blunt and restrictive. Many businesses which could be operating without significantly increasing the spread of the virus will be forced to remain closed.”
“This will do unnecessary damage to jobs and tax revenue – and to public compliance and confidence in the system – and soon render government’s approach unsustainable.”
‘All shops should open’
Instead the party has suggested several ammendments to the regulations, including allowing a far broader range of stores to open on the condition they follow strict hygiene and protection protocols.
They also advocate permitting alcohol traders to operate until 15:00 and regulate the amount o alcohol allowed to be bought.
Here are some of the standout suggestions:
- Elimination of the curfew rule.
- All shops allowed to open subject to mandatory health protocols, masks for all customers.
- E-commerce able to sell all goods to consumers online.
- Beauticians and hairdressers to be open subject to health protocols.
- Screening regime and workplace testing stations in the manufacturing sector.
- Transport of all goods allowed for export.
- Mask wearing on all public transport as well as sanitising on entry and exit.
- Car services allowed.
- Outdoor exercise and dog walking allowed.
- Alcohol sales allowed Monday to Friday until 15:00. Limit on stock allowed to be bought.
- All agriculture allowed subject to health protocols.
- Mining activity to resume with the use of respirators, sanitised transport, and deep cleaning of residential units.
- Construction sites allowed to be open (similar to open-cast mining due to the open nature of the site).
- R1000 top-up for all grant receivers as opposed to caregivers only.
Power to the people
McPherson said that the DA’s alternative “Smart Lockdown” proposal was far better suited to achieving a successful transition back to normality.
“The only condition for a business to operate should be that it has, or can achieve, an acceptably low potential for spreading the virus,” he said.
“The DA’s Smart Lockdown proposes that for each lockdown level, government should specify the requirements for a business to be able to operate. Businesses can then decide if they are willing or able to meet those.”
He said that the alternative structure would effectively be returning power to the industries, who have the experience and knowledge to properly administer preventative measures to curb the spread of the virus.
“They may choose to invest in the required mitigation measures, for example arranging private transport for staff, buying protective equipment, temperature screening staff/customers on entrance.”
“This way, government is putting decision-making power in the hands of those people who know and care most about each individual business: its employers, employees and customers. This approach harnesses the creativity, incentives and goodwill of everyone, within a reasonable set of rules.”