President Cyril Ramaphosa has dismissed the rumours that South Africa would be going back into a hard lockdown.
South Africa (27 October 2020) – President Cyril Ramaphosa has dismissed the rumours that the country would be returning to a hard lockdown and does not want to alarm the country. He has stated that moving to any other level right now is “simply not true”.
The news comes despite many mainstream media websites reporting that there “could be” another hard lockdown. The reports all linked back to the KwaZulu-Natal Premier who warned South Africans on Sunday that if “we don’t behave, then we could go back into a lockdown” during a Remembrance Ceremony held in Umgababa, south of Durban.
South Africans on social media then created an echo-chamber of this rumour, adding fuel to the fire. But the President dismissed the rumours today while taking oral questions from MPs in the National Council of Provinces on a range of issues, including COVID-19 corruption, gender-based violence and the controversial trip to Zimbabwe last month by defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Thabo Mokone, Parliamentary Editor at Times Live reported that the President dismissed the rumours while responding to a question from the Democratic Alliance’s Tim Brauteseth.
“Ramaphosa said while he was concerned about the recent spike in COVID-19 infections, there was no need to be alarmed.”
He also said talk of an imminent return to level 3 or a hard lockdown was “simply not true”, adding that what was required for now was strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols — particularly as the festive season approached.
Adding to this, Chris Hattingh from the Free Market Foundation – an independent public benefit organisation that promotes and fosters an open society, the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic and press freedom – expressed to BusinessTech that any sort of harder lockdown would have harrowing consequences for South Africans and the economy.
“A hard lockdown affects poorer people much more than those in the middle and upper-classes who can, often, continue working from home. The economy is a ‘living organism’ – from street corners to corporate board rooms – with people making choices, trading with each other, finding ways to improve their own lives and those of their families.
It cannot simply be switched on and off.
To contemplate subjecting people suffering economically and emotionally to another hard lockdown, demonstrates, firstly, a lack of understanding of the effectiveness of lockdown, and, secondly, a lack of empathy and understanding of just how much people are struggling to put their lives back together.”