Here's how the Western Cape plans to 'get the balance right' if lockdown ends

08 October 2021 - 11:00
Western Cape premier Alan Winde is calling for more consultation before an extension of the state of disaster. File photo.
Western Cape premier Alan Winde is calling for more consultation before an extension of the state of disaster. File photo.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has detailed plans to “get the balance right” should the national state of disaster end. 

On Thursday, Winde wrote a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting a consultation with provinces before any possible extension on the state of disaster.

Last month the state of disaster was extended by the cabinet until October 15. 

Winde said he asked government to be transparent about its proposed road map out of the national state of disaster. The road map has not yet been made public or shared with provinces.

He said transparency would add “much-needed” confidence to the economy.

“It is only fair on our residents, and especially our job-creating businesses, that this clarity is provided. We cannot be in a state of disaster forever, and we need to have a clear plan for its termination,” said Winde.

In its plan, Winde said the Western Cape government seeks to find the balance between saving lives and jobs. 

Here is how the province plans to “get the balance right”.

  • We must end the national state of disaster to grow the economy and create jobs.
  • We must enable provincial and local government responses through an established traffic-light warning system, based on predetermined measures of the health platform capacity. This will enable provincial, differentiated approaches in the future based on a provincial government’s capacity to respond to increased pressures.
  • We must maintain healthcare capacity by increasing budget allocations to provincial governments. This will enable maintenance of standby field hospital capacity, healthcare worker capacity and oxygen capacity should it be required in the future.
  • We must empower people by continuing with behaviour change campaigns that provide knowledge on non-pharmaceutical safety practices. Residents must be given the agency to protect themselves and others.
  • We must increase vaccinations through more pop-up and satellite vaccination sites, which work better by improving convenience and access. This approach should be supported by the national government.

Winde said co-operative governance is an important principle of SA's constitutional dispensation. 

“It is important that a decision to extend the disaster, which has such serious consequences for provinces and their economies, be preceded by a thorough application of minds, and detailed consideration of provincial plans and capacity to manage the pandemic going forward.”