7 critical issues Cyril Ramaphosa addressed on lockdown levels

24 April 2020 - 10:49 By Cebelihle Bhengu
President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was critical to balance the need to resume economic activity with the imperative to contain the virus and save lives.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was critical to balance the need to resume economic activity with the imperative to contain the virus and save lives.
Image: Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday night announced  some lockdown rules would be relaxed to allow some businesses to operate in an effort to prevent the collapse of the economy and save jobs, while also curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Lockdown level 4 will take affect from Friday May 1. The president said strict safety measures must still be followed even with the easing of some rules. 

Here are seven issues he addressed:

Saving lives still paramount 

“We must avoid a rushed reopening that could risk a spread, which would need to be followed by another hard lockdown, as has happened in other countries. We have to balance the need to resume economic activity with the imperative to contain the virus and save lives.”

Travel limitations 

“Our borders will remain closed to international travel except for the repatriation of South Africans and foreign citizens. No travelling between provinces will be allowed except for the transportation of goods and in exceptional circumstances such as to attend funerals.

"Public transport will continue to operate with limitations on the number of passengers and stringent hygiene requirements, including that all passengers must wear a face mask.”

Gatherings 

“All gatherings, apart from funerals and for work, will remain prohibited. The elderly and those with underlying conditions must remain at home and take additional precautions to isolate themselves.”

Cigarettes 

“The sale of cigarettes will be permitted. The range of goods that may be sold will be extended to incorporate certain additional categories. Bars, shebeens, concerts and sporting events will remain closed.”

Saving the economy

“Some businesses will be allowed to operate under specific conditions. Every business will have to adhere to detailed safety protocols to protect their employees, and plans will have to be put in place to enable disease surveillance and prevent the spread of infection.” 

Mass cloth mask production

“We're calling on all South Africans to wear a face mask whenever you leave home. Our clothing and textile industry and small businesses are gearing up to produce these masks on a mass scale. This is a time to act responsibly.”

SA's response commendable

“During the past five weeks, we have demonstrated to the whole world what a nation can achieve with courage, determination and solidarity. We must remain strong and focused and continue to stay safe.”


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