“South Africa’s prolonged lockdown must end immediately and completely. It should have ended five months ago.”
CALLS have been made for the national state of disaster, which is due to end on Thursday, to be lifted.
The DA’s John Steenhuisen called on President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday to resist the urge to once again extend the state of disaster, which is otherwise due to end on Thursday, October 15.
“South Africa’s prolonged lockdown must end immediately and completely. It should have ended five months ago. SA’s epidemiological models massively exaggerated the size of the Covid risk,” Steenhuisen said.
The party’s leader pointed out that the World Health Organization had echoed what the DA has been saying for months: that lockdowns were harmful and unjustifiable.
“WHO has appealed to world leaders to stop locking down their countries and their economies.”
Steenhuizen added that the state of disaster undermined democracy, oversight, and policy certainty.
“Extending it will be no more than a continuation of the government’s attempt to use bad science to promote a climate of fear that gives false legitimacy to the ANC’s growing authoritarianism. It has massively enabled the theft of state resources, which is why the ANC government has been so reluctant to end it.”
He added that the real disaster was the state of the economy.
“The economy was dealt a deathblow by the ANC’s irrational, unscientific, unethical lockdown with its senseless, arbitrary regulations ineffectively targeting a single risk, a risk which is nowhere near as dangerous to our country as many other risks.”
Steenhuisen pointed out that the WHO’s recent statement supported the DA’s position that this prolonged lockdown had been unjustifiable and that the economic devastation it caused could and should have been avoided.
“The main things South Africa’s lockdown has achieved is a catastrophic increase in poverty, unemployment and inequality, with poor people and young people paying the highest price for what has largely been an ineffective policy. Three million jobs have been lost.
“Schoolchildren have lost around 40% of their school days this year. Hunger is widespread, a long-term consequence of which will be childhood stunting. All with terrible consequences for public mental and physical health.”
He added that the Level 1 lockdown continued to harm South Africa.
“It continues to damage certain sectors of the economy, particularly tourism and the alcohol industry, and it continues to interrupt education, with no benefits to society. This charade must end now.”
The party called on the government to lift all restrictions on international travel and on the trade of alcohol as well as allow schooling to return to normal.