The Democratic Alliance (DA) has said that the best way South Africa can navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, while waiting for the vaccine, would be to limit the damage from lockdown restrictions by taking a more differentiated approach.
DA leader John Steenhuisen has criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the country staying on Alert Level 3 of the Lockdown, with some amended restrictions.
“South Africa is effectively bankrupt. We cannot afford to support businesses and jobs affected by restrictions. So, we therefore don’t have the luxury of restricting the good with the bad,” Steenhuisen said.
“We need a differentiated, preventive approach rather than the current blunt instrument of uniform strategy across the country. The blanket ban approach destroys lives and livelihoods unnecessarily and it distracts and diverts law enforcement resources to areas that don’t make a difference at the expense of areas that do”
DA leader John Steenhuisen
The so-called family meeting comes as South Africa reported a record spike in daily coronavirus cases and deaths the last few weeks and follows consultations with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), which governs the current lockdown.
Most of the measures he announced on 28 December 2020, will remain in place – including the ban on gatherings.
The curfew has however been adjusted to 21:00 until 05:00 – while wearing a mask in public still remains compulsory.
Another contentious lockdown restriction which remains in place is the ban on alcohol sales and on-site consumption – this has paid off as healthcare workers have reported less trauma cases in hospitals due to alcohol, making them more productive in the fight against COVID-19.
The DA has also called on Ramaphosa to give clarity on the 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses which are headed to our shores, particularly on where they are coming from and when they can be expected.