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Ramaphosa pleads with SA to ‘do better’ as he announces tough new restrictions for Nelson Mandela Bay

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The president warned South Africans to ‘change our behaviour’ to avoid a return to a harsher national lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa says Nelson Mandela Bay has been declared a hotspot and the region will face restrictions due to rising coronavirus infections over the last 14 days.

Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in some parts of the country, particularly in the Eastern Cape in Nelson Mandela Bay and the Western Cape – with the Garden Route region area most affected.

Ramaphosa’s address tonight follows meetings he held with the Coronavirus Command Council and the Cabinet which confirmed recommendations related to curbing rising infections.

The president said restrictions in Nelson Mandela Bay will come into effect on December 4. The curfew will be extended from 10pm to 4am – only permitted workers will be allowed outside their homes during the curfew.

Non-essential establishments including bars and restaurants should be closed during the curfew.

The president also announced restrictions on alcohol trading hours in the region, with alcohol only allowed to be sold from Monday to Thursday between 10am to 6pm.

No on-site consumption will be permitted at licensed establishments after 10pm and no alcohol consumption will be permitted in public spaces, the president said

Gatherings will also be limited. Religious gatherings may not exceed 50% of venue capacity – with a maximum of 100 people indoors and 250 people outside.

The president also said summer initiation practices could go ahead but not in Nelson Mandela Bay.

The country recorded 4173 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday – a jump from 2295 cases reported on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa said there were concerns that many people were not following healthcare protocols such as wearing masks, with various parties being held in different areas.

He said hospital admissions were on the rise and he warned that South Africans should do better and “we should not go back to the dark days of June, July”.

“We must change our behaviour now to prevent a resurgence of the virus and manage outbreaks wherever they occur. At the same time, we need to do all we can to keep the economy open and to push ahead with recovery efforts,” Ramaphosa said.

Political Bureau