Cele, Mkhize & Ramaphosa on lockdown level 3: yes, it's part of discussions

12 May 2020 - 12:00 By Jessica Levitt
Will lockdown easing begin? The signs are there ...
Will lockdown easing begin? The signs are there ...
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

It's day 47 of hard lockdown across SA, which has seen movement curtailed, restricted business activity and zero public gatherings or social visits with friends and family.

As the economy continues to bleed and coronavirus infections continue to rise, government officials have hinted that level 3 may be on the cards.

Here's when hints on level 3 have been dropped:

Bheki Cele

Police minister Bheki Cele said the committee overseeing lockdown regulations was in discussions about the easing of levels.

Though Cele refused to be drawn on when level 3 may be implemented, he said the committee was waiting on advice from experts.

Informal part-time work is the bread and butter of many foreign migrant workers in SA. They travel to SA to look for jobs, work for a few months and head back home with some money for themselves and their families. A group of men from Lesotho who came to SA for that reason are now stranded in the country for much longer than they expected thanks to the lockdown.

Zweli Mkhize

The health minister said that lockdowns can't go on forever and that continuing a lockdown won't delay the peak of the coronavirus.

City Press quoted Mkhize as saying people would have to establish a new normal.

“We cannot continue with the country locked down forever. We need to now get people to begin to understand the change in behaviour that allows us to get back to normal economic activities.”

Cyril Ramaphosa

In his weekly newsletter the president said there was pressure to ease restrictions so that the economy could start working again. He said that countries around the world have started easing restrictions but, at the same time, have seen an increase in infections.

Ramaphosa said SA must accept that this will happen and prepare for it.

“We will be no different. We can and must expect infections to rise as more people return to work. We must accept the reality, prepare for it and adapt to it.”