Western Cape premier Winde wants international borders reopened
Western Cape premier Alan Winde says he will ask President Cyril Ramaphosa to scrap all disaster regulations affecting industries and open international borders.
In Winde’s weekly news conference on Thursday, Western Cape health department head Dr Keith Cloete presented statistics showing the province had reached a Covid-19 test positivity rate below 10%.
Cape Town’s two remaining Covid-19 treatment facilities have only 33 patients.
“We must open up all sectors of the economy and allow for international travel in line with clear health guidelines and in acknowledgment of individual responsibility,” said Winde.
"We must treat our residents as responsible partners in our continued efforts to keep Covid-19 on the decline.
“Tomorrow, the Western Cape cabinet will discuss the further opening of the economy and adopt an official position to present to President Ramaphosa during his next round of consultations.
“If the daily Covid-19 stats were a marker of how we were doing in our fight against this health pandemic, then the GDP stats released this week - which showed a significant decline in economic activity - should be the clearest indication that we are now in the midst of a dangerous and, yes, deadly second pandemic of joblessness that will hit our most vulnerable communities the hardest.”
Winde said he agreed with Ramaphosa’s comments on the release of the stats that “this was not a shock, but the result of a prolonged and severe lockdown and its associated economic restrictions, which at times lacked common sense”.
“The reality is that if people cannot work, sell their goods or offer their services, the economy cannot grow and jobs will be lost,” he said.
Cloete said according to data from Vodacom and Google, Western Cape residents were far slower at returning to pre-lockdown activity than compatriots in other provinces.
He attributed this to a successful behavioural change campaign which also saw a lower Covid-19 peak in the Western Cape, albeit a more prolonged one compared to other provinces.