President Cyril Ramaphosa is understood to be preparing for another address to the nation this week, as COVID-19 infections begin to rise across the country. Although we are awaiting official confirmation from the government, it’s believed the ANC leader will sit us down for another ‘family meeting’ within the next few days.
eNCA report that the address could be delivered on Thursday night. Meanwhile, Newzroom Afrika has forecast a more lucid timeline, stretching to ‘the end of the week’. Either way, South Africa is due for a serious talk with the president, as we enter a phase of our lockdown that may be difficult to stomach – this is the part where some of us must take a step back…
During his last speech to the nation, Ramaphosa implored South Africans to continue with mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social-distancing amid an uptick in virus cases. That ‘uptick’ has now developed into several local clusters, which pushed new infections past the daily rate of 4 000 for the first time in months on Wednesday.
It’s likely that citizens in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and already-identified hot-spots will be placed under tougher lockdown restrictions. The metros of Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay are seeing cases flare-up, whereas the Garden Route has seen transmission spiral out of control over the last month or so.
We’ve been told that President Ramaphosa will explain that Level 1 freedoms will still be available to the rest of the country without any alterations. However, that may change in the near future if ‘cluster outbreaks’ are detected in other provinces. Cyril is also likely to allow beaches and public spaces to remain open – unless infections spike dramatically once more.
Ramaphosa is also set to issue a stern Christmas warning for every member of the public. The president, once he delivers his message, is expected to advise us against attending large gatherings, and tell us to avoid situations with big crowds or limited ventilation indoors. COVID-19 absolutely thrives in these conditions.
We’re also expecting an update on South Africa’s ability to secure and distribute a working vaccine in the months ahead. On Wednesday, the UK became the first country to authorise the roll-out of a mass vaccination programme, as some Brits are set to receive the jab as early as next week. Expectations are high for Ramaphosa and co to follow suit.