IN QUOTES| Ramaphosa on nationwide lockdown, SANDF deployment and solidarity fund

24 March 2020 - 06:39 By Unathi Nkanjeni
On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday.
On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday.
Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on SA's plan to combat the spread of coronavirus on Monday.

This was his second address after he met business leaders at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to discuss the effect of the disaster on businesses and the economy on Sunday.

Ramaphosa declared Covid-19 a national disaster on March 15.

Here are seven quotes from his address.

Nationwide lockdown 

Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days — from midnight on Thursday to April 16. 

“This is a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

“While this measure will have a considerable impact on people’s livelihoods, on the life of our society and on our economy, the human cost of delaying this action would be far greater.”

SANDF deployment

“I have directed the South African National Defence Force be deployed to support the SA Police Service in ensuring that the measures we are announcing are implemented.

“This nationwide lockdown will be accompanied by a public health management programme which will significantly increase screening, testing, contact tracing and medical management.”

Expanding screening and testing 

Ramaphosa said more screening and testing measures will put in place, focusing first on high-density and high-risk areas.

“To ensure that hospitals are not overwhelmed, a system will be put in place for ‘centralised patient management’ for severe cases and ‘decentralised primary care’ for mild cases.

“Emergency water supplies, using water storage tanks, water tankers, boreholes and communal standpipes will be provided to informal settlements and rural areas.”

Lanseria flights suspended

International flights to Johannesburg's Lanseria Airport have been temporarily suspended to strengthen prevention measures.

“Non-South Africans arriving on flights from high-risk countries will be turned back.

“International travellers who arrived in SA after March 09 from high-risk countries will be confined to their hotels until they have completed a 14-day period of quarantine.”

Solidarity fund

“We have set up a solidarity fund, which South African businesses, organisations and individuals, and members of the international community, can contribute to.

“The fund will focus efforts to combat the spread of the virus, help us to track the spread, care for those who are ill and support those whose lives are disrupted.”

Price hikes

“Regulations have been put in place to prohibit unjustified price hikes to ensure shops maintain adequate stocks of basic goods and to prevent people from panic buying. 

“It is important for all South Africans to understand that the supply of goods remains continuous and supply chains remain intact.”

God bless SA

“We will prioritise the lives and livelihoods of our people above all else and will use all of the measures that are within our power to protect them from the economic consequences of this pandemic.

“In the days, weeks and months ahead our resolve, our resourcefulness and our unity as a nation will be tested as never before.”