Home South African Government slammed for ’dragging’ its feet over State of Disaster

Government slammed for ’dragging’ its feet over State of Disaster

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Civil rights organisations have slated the government for opposing their court application to end the National State of Disaster, saying it was an indication that they had no intention of ending it.

Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma last month announced a further extension of the National State of Disaster on Covid-19 until March 15, while further amendments were also announced. Picture: GCIS

CIVIL rights organisations have slated the government for opposing their court application to end the National State of Disaster, saying it was an indication that they had no intention of ending it.

This while the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) said it had started a process to end the State of Disaster in a responsible way.

Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma last month announced a further extension of the National State of Disaster on Covid-19 until March 15, while further amendments were also announced.

Dear SA chairperson, Rob Hutchinson, said the government had notified them and co-applicant AfriForum that it intended to oppose their court application to end the State of Disaster.

“President Ramaphosa’s Cabinet last month indicated that the February extension of the State of Disaster would be the last. The government’s notice opposing our demand reveals this is clearly not the case. It would appear the State of Disaster and over-reaching regulations are here to stay,” he said.

Cogta spokesperson Lungi Mtshali said: “The government has stated on a number of occasions recently that Cogta has started a process to end the State of Disaster in a responsible way. We have received input from the various departments on whether they still need the State of Disaster, and the Cabinet will make a decision based on that input. So yes, the government will oppose efforts to short-circuit this process and to prematurely end the State of Disaster.”

Senior lecturer emeritus from the Department of Global Health at Stellenbosch University, Dr Jo Barnes, said the government was dragging its feet.

“That the use of the Disaster Management Act had to end at some point in time was clear a long time ago, yet ostensibly nothing was done to prepare for that time. Now there are all sorts of administrative delays claimed for extending this act beyond what it was supposed to do, and this is causing damage to the relationships between the authorities and the people whom the act was supposed to safeguard,” she said.

Cape Times

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