This will ease pressure on the economy and facilitate greater movement of people while maintaining vigilance against the disease and enforcing health safety measures.
South Africa (18 May 2020) – As the government prepares for the further easing of the lockdown to level 3, Cabinet Ministers will undertake broad-ranging consultations with government, key sectors of the economy and civil society.
Having appreciated the progress made towards levelling the COVID-19 pandemic curve and capacitating the public health system to deal with an increase in infections, Cabinet approved the further easing of restrictions.
“This will ease pressure on the economy and facilitate greater movement of people while maintaining vigilance against the disease and enforcing health safety measures. The key imperative that drives Cabinet’s response to COVID-19 is to decrease infections and save lives,” said Cabinet in a statement on Thursday.
Cabinet’s statement follows a virtual special Cabinet meeting held on 12 and 13 May 2020.
At the meeting, Cabinet was briefed through the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on progress achieved and challenges experienced in the implementation of level 4 of the Risk-Adjusted Approach towards reducing the spread of COVID-19.
“Cabinet welcomed the generally positive response from the public and business in adhering to the approved level 4 restrictions and guidelines. This level enabled an estimated 1,5 million South Africans to return to work and to much-needed economic activity,” said Cabinet.
The return to work was accompanied by requirements on employers to implement COVID-19 specific health protocols that are directed at protecting employees, customers and the broader community.
With citizens required to wear facemasks in public places, Cabinet commended the nation on its overwhelming adherence to the requirement.
During the meeting, Cabinet was updated on the substantial progress achieved by the Department of Health in working with provinces to ensure that all parts of the country are able to intensify screening, testing, treatment and contact tracing as the pandemic develops.
Cabinet also welcomed progress reported on the rollout of the multifaceted economic and social support and relief programmes that have assisted enterprises and vulnerable citizens since the start of the national lockdown.
Noting the challenges and frustrations experienced by the public and businesses due to a lack of clarity in some of the Level 4 regulations, Cabinet committed that regulations would be reviewed to provide the necessary clarity and enable improved compliance.
“Cabinet further noted variations in infection rates between different metropolitan and district municipalities. It is this differentiation that informed Cabinet to embark on a differentiated level approach as a response to COVID-19,” said Cabinet.
The meeting also approved the appointments of Mulima Godfrey Mashamba as the Deputy Director-General (DDG): Evaluation, Evidence and Knowledge Systems at the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Dr Cynthia Ntombifuthi Khumalo as the DDG of Arts, Culture Promotion and Development at the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.
Extension of employment contract of Nkhumeleni Victor Tharage as the Director-General (DG) at the Department of Tourism and Dr Sabelo Siyabonga Buthelezi as the DG at the Department of Health.