Ramaphosa on climate change

Photo: GCIS

State of Disaster to expire: Ramaphosa in crunch talks over lockdown

The State of Disaster ends on Saturday 15 August and South Africans have heard nothing from Ramaphosa. What lies ahead for the lockdown?

Ramaphosa on climate change

Photo: GCIS

The ruling party is under immense pressure as the National State of Disaster will come to an end on Saturday 15 August at midnight. As of Saturday morning, citizens of South Africa have not heard a peep from government or President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding a way forward on the lockdown, causing frustration.


On 15 March 2020, Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, under the Disaster Management Act, declared the National State of Disaster. That was five months ago and ever since we’ve been navigating various levels of lockdown.  

The State of Disaster was initially meant to last for a period of three months until 15 June, however, government felt the need to extend it twice more. Once until 15 July and then again until Saturday 15 August. 

On the date of expiry, South Africans have no clue as to whether there will be a third extension and a move to Level 2 of lockdown. 

Word on the lifting of the alcohol and cigarette bans have also been hush. South Africans, at this point, are frustrated, to say the least. 

Dlamini-Zuma, who declared the National State of Disaster said it was necessary to assist and protect the public, provide relief to the public, protect property, to prevent or combat disruption and to deal with other effects of the disaster. 


At this point, the ruling party must be scrambling to come to a final decision. If there’s one thing that’s impossible, it’s to try and predict what decision it will take. The country and its citizens have been surprised too many times before. 

At this stage, Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma could extend the State of Disaster by another month, with a move to Level 2, or the lockdown could be done away with completely. 

Level 2, at this point, appears to be the most likely decision as scientists in the advisory council, as well as ministers, have advocated for it, describing a drop in infections, deaths and hospital admissions. However, we know better than to guess what comes next. 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize also said a decision regarding Level 2 had not yet been made. 

According to SAFM News, Cabinet is meeting on Saturday, where a final decision on granting any possible extension will be taken. 

In the meantime, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has called on Ramaphosa to be the president South Africans need by doing away with the lockdown completely.