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Cabinet meeting, March 2019 – Photo: GCIS/Flickr

Cabinet rejects three-week ‘stay at home’ order – but lockdown update IS imminent

Rumours about a three-week order to keep South Africans at home are wide of the mark… but a ‘lockdown update’ is expected from Cabinet this week.

Worst performing ministers performance targets

Cabinet meeting, March 2019 – Photo: GCIS/Flickr

GCIS Director-General Phumla Williams has moved to crush claims that South Africans will be placed under a three-week ‘stay at home’ order, slamming yet another slice of fake news created to drum-up fear and panic. However, it has been confirmed that members of SA’s Cabinet will brief the media following discussions about lockdown strategy on Thursday.

What will happen if we move to Level 2?

Rumours are abound that the country will briefly be relegated to Level 2 lockdown restrictions over the Easter weekend. Scientists have also proposed ‘fire-breaker’ measures, fearing that another superspreader event could fuel a third wave.

Any move to Level 2 would see gatherings reduced to a maximum of 50 people in one space, and alcohol restrictions also return; booze remains on sale, but only for four days a week. So there’s no need to rush to Tops just yet, even as the National Coronavirus Command Council sits down for its second round of discussions with its members this week.

Government officials fighting fake news about lockdown

These factors combined have created a vacuum of speculation, and government officials have had to step in. Williams has categorically denied that any form of hard lockdown will return this week, and says ‘no such decision’ to keep citizens heavily restricted for three weeks has been made, sharing the fraudulent post on her Twitter feed.

When will we get a lockdown update?

At 10:00 on Thursday, Minister Ntshavheni will go through the measures discussed by Cabinet. Although no ‘family meetings’ are yet planned for the week ahead, we are expecting some sort of update on South Africa’s lockdown measures tomorrow morning. Those eager to catch the press conference can follow developments via a live stream online:

“On Thursday 25 March at 10:00, the post-Cabinet Media briefing will be addressed by Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. The briefing takes place at the GCIS Media Centre Hatfield offices, and will be live-streamed.”