Western Cape Prime Minister Alan Winde has reiterated his call for an urgent meeting of the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) to end the national disaster.
Winde said on Friday that despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s commitment last month at the State of the Nation Address (Sona) to end the state of disaster and its regulations, there were still no clear timelines for when this would happen. exactly would happen.
The prime minister wants the meeting – which consists of ministers, prime ministers, mayors of metros – to take place quickly as the expiry of the extension of the disaster state on March 15 approaches.
“Given the approaching deadline, I urge the president to convene the recommended PCC to discuss the steps to be taken to end the national catastrophe situation and repeal the regulation in its entirety.
“These PCCs should take place well in advance of the regulations’ expiration on March 15, 2022 to ensure they are not just renewed in advance,” Winde said in a statement.
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708 days of confinement
South Africa has been in lockdown for at least 708 days as of Friday, following the declaration of the national disaster by Ramaphosa in March 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During his Sona, Ramaphosa said the disaster situation would have ended once new regulations outside the Disaster Management Act are finalized.
“Our intention is to end the national disaster situation once we finalize other measures under the National Health Act and other legislation to contain the pandemic,” he said.
Public health measures
Winde said there are no compelling reasons for the extension of the state of disaster expected in less than two weeks.
He said South Africa needed to normalize its response to Covid-19 through existing public health measures, and allow provinces to respond in the future.
“Taking this important step shouldn’t take that long,” he said.
“I called for an end to the national disaster state last October and for a roadmap to be published to end the disaster. The national government has had ample time to prepare.”
The Prime Minister said Quarterly Labor Force Statistics show that between July 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, 183,000 people lost their jobs in the Western Cape.
He described the unemployment crisis in the country as the “second pandemic”, which he said would also cost lives and require the government’s full attention.
“Therefore, we must do the right thing and end the national catastrophe, and instead focus our energies on creating an environment conducive to the private sector to create jobs.”
Curated by Thapelo Lekabe
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