‘Gauteng is ready, we did not request a hard lockdown,’ says provincial government
The Gauteng government said it did not ask the national government to allow it to introduce an “intermittent” hard lockdown in the province, but instead called for tougher enforcement of the current regulations.
“We are not calling for a return of a hard lockdown. We fully understand and support the current risk adjusted strategy which is being implemented by the national government and the president,” provincial spokesperson Thabo Masebe told eNCA on Monday morning.
“We are simply saying as the numbers continue to rise, let us look at the behaviour of people and say if some factors leading to the high increase could be due to non-adherence to the regulations, then we have to enforce the regulations.”
Masebe said the province was “prepared and ready” to deal with the surge in Covid-19 numbers.
“The health system is ready and we have done all we needed to do. We continue to attend to all areas in the health system, including adding hospital beds,” he said.
It was believed a hard lockdown and closure of economic activity in intervals was called for by health MEC Bandile Masuku before attending a provincial cabinet meeting on Saturday.
Masuku told the Sunday Times the province needed the reinstatement of restrictions seen in the early days of the nationwide lockdown to arrest the rampant spread of the coronavirus, which could overwhelm the system and compromise its ability to save lives.
Masebe said Masuku did not call for a level 4 or level 5 lockdown, but said the executive council met on Saturday to discuss the implementation and enforcement of the current regulations.
Masebe said the province has seen a lot of gatherings, marches and parties which attributed to the surge in numbers.
He said at the meeting it was decided police officers should continue to work with soldiers to ensure citizens adhere to the regulations.
“Gauteng has not requested the national government to place the province under level 4 or level 5. Let’s enforce the law and see people adhere to the regulations,” he said.