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Thursday is D-Day for SA's plans to ease lockdown

21 April 2020 - 21:27 By Matthew Savides
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on Tuesday night.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on Tuesday night.
Image: GCIS

South Africans will know on Thursday about the government's plans to ease the nationwide lockdown.

Speaking on Tuesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a massive R500bn economic package to help the country deal with the implications of the coronavirus and its spread through the country.

But he also announced that the government was going to "reopen the economy" - with the plans to be announced in two days' time. 

"On Thursday, I will address the nation on the measures that will be taken beyond the nationwide lockdown to reopen the economy," he said.

The government would take a "risk-adjusted approach" to getting the economy restarted, balancing limiting the spread of the virus "with the need to get people back to work".

"As I've said before, if we end the lockdown too soon or too abruptly, we risk a massive and uncontrollable resurgence of the disease. We will therefore follow a phased approach, based on the best available scientific information, to gradually lift the restrictions on economic activity," he said.

"We remain firm in our resolution to contain the transmission of the virus. We must act with agility and flexibility in the the weeks and months ahead."

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on April 21 2020 that the South African government will make an additional R500bn available to assist in the fight against Covid-19. The money will come from reprioritising the country’s current budget and from international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the New Development Bank (NDB). Here’s where the government will spend the money.