Khumbudzo Ntshavheni: ‘Given the choice, government will always choose to save lives over livelihoods’

25 June 2021 - 10:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says the country cannot afford to be moved back to lockdown level 5. File photo.
Acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says the country cannot afford to be moved back to lockdown level 5. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says given the choice,  government will always choose to save lives over livelihoods during the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Thursday Ntshavheni addressed media in Tshwane where government visited several taxi ranks in the area to observe adherence to Covid-19 regulations.

She said the surge in Covid-19 cases was intensifying but the county could not afford to be placed under level 5 lockdown.

Ntshavheni urged businesses and industries to enforce regulations at their establishments.

“We understand we need to balance saving lives and saving livelihoods. We need to try as a nation, business, government and society to avoid going back into a hard lockdown so we can save jobs,” Ntshavheni said.

“If the government is given a choice to save livelihoods or save lives, we will choose to save lives because livelihoods we can rebuilt but lives we cannot.”

Her comments come amid increasing numbers of Covid-19 infections, especially in Gauteng.

On Thursday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases reported 16,078 new Covid-19 cases were identified, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,877,143.

The increase represents a 24.5 % positivity rate. A further 148 deaths related to Covid-19  were reported, bringing fatalities to 59,406 to date.

Gauteng premier David Makhura on Thursday warned the third wave of infections was severe and urged residents in the province not to be complacent.

“The pandemic is everywhere. Let us not think the pandemic is over. It is severe and there are still many people in the province who are vulnerable,” said Makhura.

He appealed to residents to limit mobility and said law enforcement officers will be everywhere to ensure adherence to regulations.

“We have to clamp down on the disregard for regulations in Gauteng,” he said.

“It has been a difficult time, but Covid-19 fatigue leads to more infections and possibly death. Let us not tire of adhering to the health and safety protocols of wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing.”


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