Winde pushes for looser lockdown as Western Cape passes third-wave peak
The Western Cape lockdown must be eased as the third wave of Covid-19 declines, says premier Alan Winde.
“I will petition the president to move the Western Cape down a level to alert level 2 as soon as possible,” Winde said on Wednesday as active cases in the province fell by 21% in a week.
“This will enable the weekend sale of alcohol, a later curfew and an adjustment to the size of gatherings permitted. It's essential for job creation in our province, especially in our hospitality and events sector as we approach our tourism season.”
Winde said new Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths were showing consistent declines, and the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium had reported a 99% probability that the Western Cape had passed the peak of the third wave.
This meant it was time for a “frank and honest look at whether we are getting the balance right in saving both lives and livelihoods in this province”.
Even though the Western Cape has SA's lowest unemployment rate, it is still unacceptably high, he said.
“This is a public emergency of the same magnitude as the pandemic and requires swift and agile action based on new data as it becomes available. The further relaxation of restrictions to enable economic recovery, especially in the hospitality sector, is an urgent next step.”