Apologies, staying hopeful and blazing guns: a quick 411 on Ramaphosa's speech

14 May 2020 - 10:31 By Unathi Nkanjeni

After 48 days in lockdown and 19 days of silence from the president, Cyril Ramaphosa finally addressed the nation after mounting calls for him to provide an update on the government's plans regarding coronavirus.

On Wednesday night, Ramaphosa gave his fourth Covid-19 address.

Here's is a quick 411:

So what happened? Ramaphosa addressed the nation for the first time in 19 days on Wednesday.

What's new? Apart from “flattening the curve”, the number of Covid-19 cases is now 12,074.

Yes, and? According to Ramaphosa, South Africans have done well in demonstrating great courage, resilience, and responsibility when it comes to delaying the spread of the coronavirus. 

Is lockdown coming to an end soon? No, not any time soon. Well, Ramaphosa reiterated that the lockdown cannot be lifted “too abruptly and too quickly” because SA risks a rapid and unmanageable surge in infections.

What's the way forward now? Ramaphosa didn't provide enough clarity on that. All he said was some parts of the country would be “downgraded” to level 3 at the end of the month. This will be done according to the rate of infection in an area, the state of readiness and capacity of its health facilities to cope with treating infected people.

The president also touched on making a few changes to the Level 4 regulations but without providing detail.

What were the apologies for? Basically, that was for the handling of some lockdown regulations that have been poorly communicated and implemented by the government and security forces.

Oh, OK: Ramaphosa also said the government was committed to being “transparent, to take the nation into confidence and to do so regularly, to continue to be forthright on the state of the pandemic”.

What's the deal on kissing and hugging? LOL! That's a thing of the “past”.

Any word from the politicians? They came out guns blazing, especially the guys in blue. The DA's interim leader John Steenhuisen criticised Ramaphosa and said the lockdown had cost more lives than it had saved.

Oh yeah? Even UDM leader Bantu Holomisa was not having it. He said there was nothing new from the speech and that Ramaphosa only briefed “the country to deal with rumours that he is under siege”. 

So what's going to happen now? SA will continues to practise proper hygiene measures and be hopeful that not only will God bless but will “protect her people”.


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