Home South African President Ramaphosa owes SA an explanation – Winde

President Ramaphosa owes SA an explanation – Winde

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The national state of disaster, which was set to expire on Tuesday, has been extended by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

WESTERN Cape Premier Alan Winde condemned the extension of the national state of disaster, which was set to expire on Tuesday, by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

This would make it 25 months since the national state of disaster was first declared in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The state of disaster is now set to expire on April 15, 2022.

Dlamini Zuma said in the Government Gazette that the extension takes into account “the need to continue augmenting existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of the state to address the impact of the disaster”.

The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) met on Monday to discuss the regulations necessary to end the state of disaster.

In response to the extension, Winde said the government had months to prepare alternative public health measures that would normalise its response while enabling the country to focus on creating jobs.

“This is unacceptable, and President Cyril Ramaphosa owes South Africa an explanation,” Winde said.

“It is also concerning that the extension took place without a President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) meeting, which meant that provinces were unable to engage with the National Government on this matter.”

He said Minister Dlamini Zuma herself indicated that the PCC would be the appropriate platform for engagement on this issue, after his correspondence to President Ramaphosa in February, but on March 11 his office received a further letter from Dlamini Zuma effectively saying the disaster will end once “adequate measures were introduced”.

“The bottom line is that we cannot be in a state of disaster indefinitely … the scientific evidence is clear: we no longer need a disaster act declaration to manage the pandemic, and we instead need to normalise our response through existing health legislation,” Winde said.

The country remains at lockdown alert Level 1.

Political Bureau

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