South Africans have no doubt been on edge, particularly after spending the greater part of the festive season under tightened lockdown restrictions. Adding to that anxiety was probably news that President Cyril Ramaphosa would reconvene another sitting of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.
This prompted much speculation that a hard lockdown was on the cards, after the country recorded more than 30 000 deaths from COVID-19. However Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams has said there was nothing urgent about the NCCC meeting and clarified that it does not automatically mean Ramaphosa will be addressing the nation soon (as he usually does after the NCCC engagements)
The NCCC consists of ministers, MECs and experts who preside over the country’s response, managing and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including determining the lockdown levels. The scheduled meeting is the council’s first one to kick off the year and it is not yet clear what will be under discussion, but the success of the alcohol ban might be a key feature.
South Africa recorded 14 410 new cases of COVID-19 – over the last 24 hours, which brings the national tally to 1 127 759
South Africa is currently at Level 3 of the national lockdown, which comes with a complete ban on the sale of alcohol and public gatherings. Cabinet already had to refute fake reports of another “urgent family meeting”, in which Ramaphosa would announce that the country would be going back to a Level 5 lockdown.
“People I am getting a lot (of) calls from another fake information to the public. There is no planned address by the President. All the speculations on that text are fake and urge everyone to ignore it,” Williams tweeted.
In light of the aforementioned, government was accused of encouraging the fake reports to fill social media, which the government spokesperson also denied.
“Actually, the presidency issues an official statement when he is scheduled to address the nation,” Williams tweeted.