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WATCH: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says harder lockdown after the elections is not on the cards yet


The Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has calmed the nerves of South Africans.

Cogta Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma arriving to cast her vote in Ballito on Saturday. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/African News Agency (ANA)
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Picture: Masi Losi

Durban – Amid fears that the country will be moved to a stricter Covid-19 lockdown after the elections, the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has calmed the nerves of South Africans.

Dlamini Zuma, whose department is responsible for formulating lockdown regulations, said with the current figures – which are at a record low – a harder lockdown was not on the cards.

She said if South Africans could stick to observing all the Covid-19 protocols put in place, like wearing masks in public spaces and sanitising, their Christmas may be brighter with no harder lockdown.

Dlamini Zuma made these remarks to Independent Media in Ballito shortly after casting her special vote, as Saturday was the first day of special voting. Those voting on Saturday and Sunday are those who will be working on voting day and will not be in their usual places, or those who were too ill to travel and stand in long queues (they are visited at home).

According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa, over 1.1 million voters are registered for special votes, and in KwaZulu-Natal alone 162 611 are registered to cast special votes.

Her assurance comes as some fear that the fully packed political rallies in the run-up to the elections on Monday could be super-spreader events that could trigger the National Coronavirus Command Council to impose the harder lockdown after the elections.

On Friday the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, added to the anxiety of the lockdown-weary nation by saying he fears that the next three days could push up the figures, and implied that these could force the government’s hand.

“A lockdown is not a random action,” Dlamini Zuma said. “We look at the figures, how many people are getting infected; we get advice from (the department of health), we get advice from the advisory council. So if the figures remain as they are, there shouldn’t be any harder lockdown. So, it will depend on how the figures behave.”

Before casting her special vote in Ballito, Dlamini Zuma visited five voting stations in Durban and said she observed a very slow start, but hoped that as the day progressed, things would pick up.

“There was a slow start, things didn’t start at 8(am). The (voting) material was coming slowly. I think by now (12 noon) it should be okay,” she said.

She then spent considerable time interacting with ANC members who were outside the voting station, and pleaded with them to go out in their numbers on Monday and vote so that the ruling party could retain its grip on power in most municipalities.

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