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State of disaster extended to March

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Cabinet has extended South Africa’s national state of disaster by another month

File Picture: REUTERS/Mike Segar

Durban – Cabinet has extended South Africa’s national state of disaster by another month.

In a statement following a virtual cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the cabinet said the extension of the national state of disaster will run until March 15, 2021 in terms of Section 27(5) of the Disaster Management Act of 2002.

The extension was yet to be officially gazetted Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma but was expected to be done so in the next few days.

When the state of disaster ends in March, it will mark almost a year that South Africa enacted the legislation to fight the global coronavirus pandemic.

The state of disaster has been extended several times since it was first meant to end 15 June 2020 as the act does allow the minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to extend it.

The government has used the act to enforce lockdown curfews and ban the sale of alcohol. In addition, the wearing of masks in public has become mandatory as the country battles to stem the spread of Covid-19 virus.

The further extension comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to host democratic South Africa’s first-ever State of the Nation Address without the pomp and ceremony as it observes social distancing guidelines.

Only 50 people are expected to be in the room when the president addresses the nation on Thursday.

On Wednesday, South Africa recorded 3 159 new confirmed Covid-19 cases and a further 276 deaths – bring the total death toll to 47 145.

IOL