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President Ramaphosa announces ‘Family meeting’ for Tuesday night

The Presidency has announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8pm on Tuesday.

The President’s address follows a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Coordinating Council and Cabinet.

“As South Africa rolls out its national COVID-19 vaccination programme, government and social partners are continuously monitoring infection, treatment and patient recovery rates, as well as compliance with health regulations and other prevention measures,” the Presidency said.

The latest address comes amid rising COVID-19 infection rates as the country finds itself firmly in the grip of the third wave.

Overnight the the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said that 5,552 new cases had been recorded, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 1,752,630.

It added that 114 more people had died as a result of COVID-19, putting South Africa’s total COVID-19 death toll at 57,879.

The majority of new cases are from Gauteng (67%), followed by the Western Cape (8%) and the North West (5%).

Family meeting soon? Cyril’s diary reveals ‘top-level talks’ held on Tuesday

According to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s schedule, the wheels could already be in motion for a very serious ‘family meeting’ this week.

RAMAPHOSA HOLDING ‘MAJOR TALKS’ ON TUESDAY 15 JUNE

The president is set to take part in three major meetings throughout the day: His first engagement is a gathering of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC). They are the ministerial group that decides on our lockdown laws, and WHEN they should be eased or tightened. However, these meetings happen regularly.

An NCCC meeting isn’t usually enough to set the alarm bells ringing. But shortly afterward, Cyril Ramaphosa is also convening a session with the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC), which features every provincial premier. Add a Cabinet meeting on top of that, on the very same day, and we’re seeing a familiar pattern emerge…

PRESIDENT’S DIARY SUGGESTS ‘FAMILY MEETING’ COMING SOON

Whenever these three meetings have aligned in the past 15 months or so, lockdown guidance is usually amended. This is accompanied by a speech to the nation from Cyril Ramaphosa, which are now colloquially known as ‘family meetings’. Although nothing has yet been confirmed, the first hints of a major announcement are here in plain sight:

Cyril ramaphosa lockdown family meeting
Photo: SA Government

ANOTHER FAMILY MEETING: WILL SOUTH AFRICA MOVE TO LEVEL 3?

Ramaphosa last addressed the nation a little over two weeks ago. But his ‘Sunday Service’ hasn’t done the country much good in that time. He put the country back down to Level 2 restrictions, but as the data has shown us in the past fortnight, COVID-19 cases are still soaring – and the third wave has officially been confirmed for Mzansi.

At Level 3, gathering allowances shrink and alcohol restrictions become much more strict. Restaurants, indoor entertainment venues, and social hubs will all be at the mercy of government curbs, should Ramaphosa choose to implement further lockdown limitations in the immediate future. Either way, it looks like it’s time to buckle-up once more.

‘Family meeting coming soon’: Cabinet reveal lockdown changes ahead

With all the alarm bells sounding at a deafening volume, it was inevitable that we’d reach this point. Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has confirmed to the media on Thursday that a ‘family meeting‘ is in the pipeline for the days ahead – and ‘further lockdown measures to protect South Africans’ have been discussed.

WHEN WILL SOUTH AFRICA HAVE ANOTHER FAMILY MEETING?

South Africa’s third wave is here in all but name. Several provinces are already in the grip of a resurgence, with others following suit and heading in the wrong direction. Over 4 600 new cases were recorded in a 24-hour period on Wednesday, accelerating the need to reintroduce ‘stricter’ lockdown laws.

Meanwhile, some experts are championing a move back to Level 2 restrictions, before Mzansi reaches another peak of infections. The second wave saw 20 000 people per day getting COVID-19 back in January 2021, and Cyril Ramaphosa will be keen to avoid any similar figures this time around. Hence, a ‘family meeting’ is now on the cards.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA READY TO REINTRODUCE LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS

The colloquial term has found its way into government terminology recently, and in delivering an update to the press, Ntshavheni was implicitly clear about the gravity of the situation: Cyril Ramaphosa may soon have some tough decisions to share with us – and it certainly won’t be one of our more ‘jovial’ family meetings…

“As Cabinet, we are discussing and consulting on the measures to sure we protect South Africans. A decision will be taken soon after the consultation and we will announce a date in which the president then host the family meeting. We can confirm to South Africans; there will be a family meeting soon.” | Khumbudzo Ntshavheni

Ramaphosa to announce Easter lockdown restrictions on Tuesday

If our last family meeting was a jovial affair, then we’re afraid the one coming up this evening could be quite sobering. Cyril Ramaphosa is aiming to be ‘proactive, not reactive’ ahead of the Easter break, as the government prepares to bring in some tougher lockdown regulations for the long weekend – so, what time will the live stream of this address begin?

WHAT TIME WILL CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ADDRESS THE NATION ON TUESDAY 30 MARCH?

President Ramaphosa  will address the nation at 19h30, to allow SABC viewers to watch veteran newsreader #NoxoloGrootboom’s final bulletin as she retires after 37 years.

Large gatherings, flocks of travellers, and alcohol-infused parties are synonymous with the four-day public holiday – and these conditions help COVID-19 thrive. That’s why scientists, government advisors, and senior politicians are now pushing for tighter measures – which are also likely to include more controls on alcohol sales.

PRESIDENT TO SHARE EASTER LOCKDOWN PLANS

Earlier today, Ramaphosa received provincial reports, detailing COVID-19 compliance and breaches in each part of the country. The NCCC then assessed what restrictions, if any, needed to be implemented ahead of the busy Easter period. According to the president, any decisions that have been made will be in place to mitigate the threat of a third wave:

  • Speaking on Monday, President Ramaphosa delivered the following remarks

“Restrictions in the light of the fear that there might be a third wave, in light of the holiday that we are going into that will be finalised by the National Coronavirus Command Council which meets [on Tuesday]. If we find our people aren’t observing protocols, we will have to ask ourselves, do we need further restrictions?”

“We can confirm that the restrictions that we’ve come up with have helped to curb the continuing growth and the rise of the infections. Having said that, the matter is going to be discussed on Tuesday – then a decision will be taken and an announcement will then be made via a televised address.”

Ramaphosa schedules family meeting for Monday night

President Cyril Ramaphosa has decided to call another family meeting on Monday 1 February 2021 and address the nation with updates on his government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rumours have been brewing for several days that in light of declining daily COVID-19 infections, the country is likely to see reduced restrictions and possibly move to a lower level of lockdown.

In a statement released by the Presidency on Monday afternoon, they said that Ramaphosa’s address will outline the decisions made during meetings held between members of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and other relevant bodies tasked with managing the pandemic in South Africa.

‘President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 20:00 today, Monday 1 February 2021, on developments in relation to the country’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic,” they said. “The address follows meetings in recent days of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) and Cabinet.”

The President’s address will be broadcast and streamed on a range of platforms that are accessible to South Africans and international audiences.

One restriction that the South African public will be eagerly hoping to be relaxed is the national alcohol ban, which has seen the booze and restaurant industry face immense challenges since it was reintroduced in December 2020. Discussions about lifting the alcohol ban have been well publicised in the past 24 hours or so – but it seems these talks are indicative of something bigger. It has been reported that several restrictions are now likely to be lifted alongside liquor prohibition.

Reports suggest that Cabinet is poised to ease COVID-19 restrictions, which see the country move to alert Level 2. That means the following laws would be altered:

  • Curfew hours are up for discussion, as the pressure to ease the nightly shutdown increases.
  • As proved to be a major sticking point this weekend, it’s likely that beaches will reopen in certain areas.
  • Alongside this, the list of ‘hot-spot regions’ is also likely to be revised.

A live stream of the address will be available shortly.

 

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