Update on lockdown Level 4: Government face ‘race against time’
Our politicians are giving themselves every available minute to draw up an "activities list" for South Africa when it enters Level 4 of lockdown.
In a press conference dominated by sound issues and interference, the clarity we had sought proved to be in short supply. The economic cluster representatives kept cards close to chests on Tuesday, leaving themselves just two days to establish an ‘activities list’ for Level 4 of lockdown in South Africa.
After 23:59 on Thursday, South Africa will enter into an “eased” phase of lockdown. However, the details remain sparse. We know that cigarette sales will be allowed, and citizens will be allowed to leave their homes for gentle exercise on a daily basis. Apart from that, we’ve been left in the dark.
Two days left to decide
That’s probably because the government have yet to draft their own solid proposals. As it stands, the differences between Level 5 and Level 4 are minimal. Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane only went as far as to talk about the current restrictions placed on hotels and medical doctors.
“No hotels should be receiving clients unless its support for essential services or providing quarantine. They should not be welcoming guests, it not an essential service. Meanwhile, in terms of relaxing our lockdown restrictions, the process has not been concluded yet.”
“The Level 4 guidelines are still subject to review, as we consider public submissions. The activities that will become available during the next level of lockdown are only proposals at this point. Those will be processed in due course. For example, we are still trying to decide what operations doctors are allowed to perform.”Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane
Lockdown: When will we know more about Level 4?
In fact, the minister made it clear that the government need more time to set their stall out. It’s likely to go down to the wire, with every minister and department deciding on the rules for each industry. Looks like we’ll be ready to do this all over again at some point this week, folks…
“The deadline for submission was on Monday. After that, applications are being considered. Only when this is done and presented to the NCC, another briefing will be arranged to determine the final regulations of Level 4 lockdown. Each minister will outline what will happen in their sectors, in an address convened this week.”Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane
Other important announcements from the NCC address include:
- The UIF has paid R3.3 billion to date. It has received 103 000 applications, but 10 000 or so cannot be processed.
- SA’s mining sector is preparing to work at 50% capacity. This will require regular screening of employees, adequate social distancing measures and provisions for PPE – including face masks.
- The tourism minister reiterated that the peak of this disease is only expected in September, meaning that all risk-adjusted decisions will be in place until the end of the year.
Curve peak will arrive in September 2020, believes government says @mmKubayiNgubane who is outlining further relief efforts. #Level4ofLockdown relief— Ferial Haffajee (@ferialhaffajee) April 28, 2020