He urged the president to avoid the economic damage of a stricter lockdown and instead take steps to raise vaccination rates.
“There are two areas that can fundamentally increase and improve the vaccination rate: restricted access to venues and vaccine mandates,” he said.
The government should sanction or support both “as a matter of extreme urgency”.
“It doesn’t need to impose it itself, but obviously we would welcome it if it did, but we do believe they need to acknowledge the need now to aggressively drive the vaccination rate, which is the only way we are going to curb transmission,” Kingston said.
Adrian Gardiner, chair of luxury hotel operator The Mantis Group, called the flood of cancellations “an absolute nightmare”, and David Frost, CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, said it was a “horror show” that could be the final straw for businesses that had been “hanging on by their fingertips”.
A Johannesburg church leader said tighter curbs on gatherings, which were dramatically relaxed during the campaign for the November 1 local elections, would be hypocritical.
Pastor Chris Mathebula of Hope Restoration Ministries in Kempton Park said: “We are not going to accept any restriction measures on gatherings because as the church we have never stopped complying with the precautionary measures, unlike the politicians who were campaigning while breaking all the Covid-19 rules and regulations.
“How will the president explain a hard lockdown after the elections, because when they were campaigning it’s like Covid-19 gave them space to campaign and now it has miraculously returned.”
Mosa Moshabela, acting deputy vice-chancellor of research and innovation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said Ramaphosa will struggle to convince South Africans to comply with lockdown rules after an election campaign that ignored them.