POLL | Who has been the best performer in government during the Covid-19 pandemic

While there have been many positive moments during this stressful time, some ministers have been slammed for tightening lockdown regulations

29 April 2020 - 12:54 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Health minister Zweli Mkhize has been applauded for his forthright briefings on the coronavirus that are perceived as credible.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize has been applauded for his forthright briefings on the coronavirus that are perceived as credible.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali/Sowetan

The government has been applauded for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the wake of the outbreak, the country placed what has been described as one of the most stringent lockdowns outside the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, Wuhan, China, to try to stop the spread of the virus.

While there have been many positive moments during this stressful time, some ministers have been criticised for tightening lockdown regulations.

Case in point? Police minister Bheki Cele has been on the receiving end of some backlash from thirsty citizens who are experiencing a shortage of alcohol.

This after Cele suggested that alcohol sales should be shut down even after the lockdown.

“My first prize would be that we shut down alcohol, but I know we cannot do that. Nothing tells me that taking alcohol will make life easier.

“For SA, alcohol has not been the only issue when it comes to regulations relating to the Covid-19. Murder has gone down.  Even in the butcher of the republic, the Western Cape, murder numbers have really gone down. The reduction of alcohol has had an impact on ordinary crime, especially violent crime,” Cele said.

The sale of liquor will be permitted when SA reaches level 3 of the “risk adjusted strategy” to fight Covid-19. SA will move from level 5 lockdown to level 4 from Friday May 1.

Another minister who left many with dry mouths was trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel when he pronounced the ban on the sale of cooked hot food after the announcement of the amended regulations.

Patel called for supermarkets' hot-food sections, like fast-food restaurants, to be closed for the remainder of the lockdown.

The official opposition party and business group Sakeliga threatened legal action against the department. The DA's Dean Macpherson threatened legal action should Patel fail to explain his statement, which the party said was “absurd, invalid, illogical and ill-considered”.

Restaurants and takeaways will be open for delivery only from Friday, and only between 9am and 8pm.


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