Cyril Ramaphosa Advanced Level 3 changes 2

Photo: GCIS / Flickr

What Ramaphosa, and the experts, have previously said about ‘hard lockdown’

For the first time in two months, Cyril Ramaphosa is addressing the nation on Wednesday – but do South Africans really need to fear another hard lockdown?

Cyril Ramaphosa Advanced Level 3 changes 2

Photo: GCIS / Flickr

Cyril Ramaphosa is set to address the nation on Wednesday night, bringing us an update on the current COVID-19 situation. There are rumours circulating that some tougher restrictions will return, whereas a number of politicians have been calling for a ‘hard lockdown’ to help control the virus – but are these suggestions supported by the experts?

Hard lockdown, strict measures, and a way forward: What has been said ahead of Cyril Ramaphosa’s address?

What the experts have said

“We are in a good position. We don’t need to change anything in my view – not yet, anyway. When December comes, we may get a problem. This virus loves movement. The restrictions we have in place are good, but what we need is better enforcement – and people must continue to take this global pandemic seriously.”

  • Professor Glenda Gray, also an expert working with Cabinet, says tougher measures ‘reinforce helpful behaviours’:

At Level 5 of lockdown, the police were better at enforcing mask-wearing, more was being done – so those kinds of things reinforce ‘good behaviour’. Visible policing should end up encouraging people to take the virus more seriously”

  • Futurist Graham Coddington has gone as far as to predict a hard lockdown is ‘impossible’:

“If you go for a hard lockdown… we’ll send the economy into a continued downward spiral. It’s impossible, and remains out of the question… it can only mean more state violence… They need a much more sophisticated strategy.”

What Ramaphosa has previously said about hard lockdown

“What we now need to do in light of what we are going through, I don’t want to be alarmist and I don’t want our people to be alarmed with the rumours such we are going to level three, that is simply not true and I want to assure everyone that that is not true.”

We need to make sure that we heed adherence to the measures that have been put to us by the medical advisory committee. We all need to adhere to those measures, particularly now, as … we move towards that fun period of December where people will let their guard down.”

Cyril Ramaphosa, 28 October 2020

Politicians who support stronger measures

  • KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala has openly called for another hard lockdown:

Looking at the statistics, we can definitely say we’ll be going back to hard lockdown if there’s no urgent or drastic change. The second wave of COVID-19 will be strongly and deadlier. It will deal our economy a major blow. People are too carefree, and too many of us continue to disregard social distancing regulations.”

  • NMB Mayoral Councillor Thsonono Buyeye is ‘willing to accept’ to tightening measures:

“A harder lockdown is not ideal but to save lives, the option might need to be explored again as the numbers are increasing rapidly. We warn residents that the second wave could be more deadly than the first wave if they don’t change their ways.”

Politicians who are against stronger measures

“We have to avert another lockdown, we have to ensure that we don’t go into a further lockdown (as) South Africa cannot afford it. Our economy cannot afford it, we are getting poorer, we are losing jobs and we need to recover now.”

  • COGTA spokesperson Mlungisi Mthsali says that ‘positive signs from hospital capacities’ will rule out a hard lockdown:

“A lot of progress has been made since Level 5, 4 and even 3 and COGTA doesn’t see a likelihood of us moving to a higher level of lockdown. The numbers are growing but we still have excess (hospital bed) capacity.”