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WRAP | President Ramaphosa announces SA's response to Omicron Covid-19 variant

28 November 2021 - 19:00 By TImesLIVE
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday night on the Covid-19 variant Omicron.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on Sunday night on the Covid-19 variant Omicron.
Image: GCIS

November 28 2021 — 21:30

WATCH | 'Unjustified, discriminatory': Ramaphosa criticises travel bans while SA remains on level 1 lockdown

No new Covid-19 restrictions will be imposed but the government has set up a task team to explore the possibility of mandatory vaccines, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

November 28 2021 — 21:30

Cyril Ramaphosa slams travel bans against SA over Omicron Covid-19 variant

Unjustified, discriminatory and not backed up by science. That is how President Cyril Ramaphosa responded to travel bans against Southern African countries after the emergence of the Omicron variant. 

Countries that have imposed travel restrictions on SA and some Southern African countries include the UK, US, EU members, Canada, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Seychelles, Brazil and Guatemala.

“The prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant. The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic,” Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

November 28 2021 — 21:17

Looming fourth wave no surprise but SA has all the tools to beat it, says Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday suggested that SA was equipped to deal with the Omicron Covid-19 variant which was first detected in Botswana and subsequently in SA. 

He was addressing the nation on the Covid-19 outbreak for the first time in three months after the discovery of the new variant which has seen a spike in infections.

Ramaphosa suggested that SA was ready to deal with the new variant adding that it came as no surprise.

November 28 2021 — 21:10

IN FULL: Vaccination drive just got real, says President Cyril Ramaphosa


November 28 2021 — 21:05

Listen to the full address

Too busy watching football or binging series? Not lis to read the whole address? You can listen to Ramaphosa's full address instead. 

November 28 2021 — 21:00


1. We remain on lockdown level 1

2. This will be reviewed in a week

3. Government has set up a task team to explore the possibility of mandatory vaccines

4. Government has started the process of amending health regulations with a view to ultimately lifting the National State of Disaster

November 28 2021 — 20:53

Did you predict the outcome of Ramaphosa's 'family meeting'?

Just a reminder to wear your mask: 40.63%

A harsher lockdown but we can still buy booze: 35.00%

Doesn't matter, I won't keep it anyway: 15.63%

No more booze, ciggies or Woolies chicken: 8.75%

November 28 2021 — 20:50

Ramaphosa's address in full

You can read Ramaphosa's full address HERE.

November 28 2021 — 20:48

So how do the numbers look?

the National Institute for Communicable Diseases on Sunday reported 2,858 new Covid-19 cases, with 18 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

The proportion of positive new cases/total new tested is 9.8% which is higher than Saturday's (9.2%). The seven-day average is 6.1%.

The majority of new cases on Sunday were from Gauteng (81%), followed by the Western Cape accounting for 5%. KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 4%; Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 3%; Limpopo accounted for 2%; and the Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape each accounted for 1%.

November 28 2021 — 20:45

REACTION: Oom Cyril could have just tweeted us

November 28 2021 — 20:45

REACTION: Moemish or "ahead of the curve"?

November 28 2021 — 20:42

A reminder of what stays the same

November 28 2021 — 20:39

No new Covid-19 restrictions as government consults on mandatory vaccines — Ramaphosa

No new Covid-19 restrictions will be imposed but the government has set up a task team to explore the possibility of mandatory vaccines, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

“Government has set up a task team that will undertake broad consultations on making vaccination mandatory for specific activities and locations,” Ramaphosa said in an address to the nation.

“The task team will report to the interministerial committee on vaccination chaired by the deputy president, which will make recommendations to cabinet on a fair and sustainable approach to vaccine mandates.”

He said no further restrictions will be imposed because vaccines were available to use to curb the spread of the virus.

November 28 2021 — 20:35

REACTION: Covid is not going anywhere, let's learn to live with it

November 28 2021 — 20:33

November 28 2021 — 20:31

So we are still on lockdown level 1.


November 28 2021 — 20:30

Ramaphosa says vaccines are safe and all South African have a role to play.

"We will not be defeated by this pandemic. We must not panic. We have to live with this pandemic. We will endure. We will overcome. We will thrive" 

November 28 2021 — 20:29

REACTION: We still have a December, guys!

November 28 2021 — 20:26

Ramaphosa calls out the recent travel bans calling them "completely unjustified" and says they "discriminate" against the country.

He says it is not informed by science and will only damage the economy.

"We call on them to immediately reverse their decision before there is any further damage to our economy "

November 28 2021 — 20:23

Ramaphosa says government has started amending health regulations, "with the view to ultimately lift the national state of disaster".

November 28 2021 — 20:23

"We will review the situation in another week"

Ramaphosa says government will keep an eye on infections, hospitalisations and other factors and will meet "in another week" 

November 28 2021 — 20:22

Level 1 is not sustainable unless we get vaccinated and stick to health protocols

November 28 2021 — 20:21

November 28 2021 — 20:19

SA will remain at Lockdown level 1 "for now"

The curfew, restrictions on large gatherings and funeral attendance is unchanged.

The sale of alcohol is still permitted, but "may not be sold during curfew hours"

November 28 2021 — 20:18

Ramaphosa says large gatherings should be changed to online events, be avoided or postponed.

Where gatherings are held, Covid-19 safety protocols should be kept.

November 28 2021 — 20:17

November 28 2021 — 20:16

Government has set up a taskteam to look into vaccines being mandatory for "certain locations and activities"

November 28 2021 — 20:14

Pfizer has applied for a booster dose to be administered

"The ministerial advisory commitee on vaccines has already inicated that it will recommend a staged introduction of boosters, starting with the elderly."

November 28 2021 — 20:12

REACTION: Are we closing or what?

November 28 2021 — 20:10

Ramaphosa calls on those who are not vaccinated to get the jab "without delay".

"We still have too many people who express doubt or resist getting vaccinated."

November 28 2021 — 20:08

We need to vaccinate

Ramaphosa says one of the most powerful tools against the coronavirus is vaccination.

November 28 2021 — 20:06

What we are hoping to know in the next few days

1. Whether it is transmitted more easily among people

2. Whether it increases the risk of reinfection

3. Whether it causes more severe disease

4. How effective current vaccines are against the strain

November 28 2021 — 20:04

Ramaphosa says the variant was first detected in Gauteng and has spread across the country.

November 28 2021 — 20:02

Ramaphosa praises SA experts for detecting the new Covid-19 variant and studying the coronavirus.

"We pay tribute to our scientists who are world-renowned and widely respected"

November 28 2021 — 20:01

And we are live!

November 28 2021 — 20:00

It's 8pm!

Now we wait.

November 28 2021 — 19:57

Stricter lockdown could result in a “financial bloodbath”.

On Saturday the Restaurant Association of SA CEO, Wendy Alberts, called for a meeting with the president after “rumours and announcements” of a further lockdown which she said would be disastrous for the economy and threaten employment and result in a “financial bloodbath”.

November 28 2021 — 19:55

5 min to go!

November 28 2021 — 19:51

Poll results so far

Just a reminder to wear your mask: 40.17%

A harsher lockdown but we can still buy booze: 35.32%

Doesn't matter, I won't keep it anyway: 16.07%

No more booze, ciggies or Woolies chicken: 8.45%

November 28 2021 — 19:49

PREDICTION: Your days are numbered, groovists

Hack: You can always just go "shop" at Sportscene and listen to the 'Yanos *shrugs*

November 28 2021 — 19:43

PREDICTION: It's about to go down

17 minutes until we hear from President Ramaphosa. Is it time to change those Christmas plans?

November 28 2021 — 19:38

REACTION: Did anyone invite the Fashion Police?

"He must wear one his Madiba shirts again to take the pressure off"- Sir'Owen Setlhodi on TimesLIVE Facebook

November 28 2021 — 19:32

PREDICTION: With immediate effect!

November 28 2021 — 19:32

REACTION: Too late!

The neighbourhood bottle store has already been cleaned out.

November 28 2021 — 19:27

Poll results so far

Just a reminder to wear your mask: 39.84%

A harsher lockdown but we can still buy booze: 35.91%

Doesn't matter, I won't keep it anyway: 16.54%

No more booze, ciggies or Woolies chicken: 7.72%

November 28 2021 — 19:21

PREDICTION: We will stay at level 1

"We going to remain at level 1 it is not easy at this moment to take us back to hard levels since we coming from election and there was nothing during elections"- JB Jabulani on TimesLIVE Facebook

November 28 2021 — 19:15

POLL | What do you think Ramaphosa will announce tonight?

Are we headling for a hard lockdown or just a pep talk?

November 28 2021 — 19:10

REACTION: Can we keep this brief, Cyril?

TL;DR- send text if urgent.

November 28 2021 — 19:05

Social media is filled with predictions of what the president will announce tonight.

A stricter lockdown seems to be the opinion of many.

November 28 2021 — 19:00

President Ramaphosa to address the nation on Covid-19 variant Omicron

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the nation at 8pm on Sunday night on SA's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This after the national coronavirus command council met on Saturday over the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant in the country.

A sharp rise in cases is believed to be driven by the newly identified B.1.1.529 Covid-19 variant, which was given the name Omicron by the World Health Organisation on Friday.

The council meeting involved drawing up recommendations regarding the new variant, which will be communicated on Sunday night.