Covid-19 Lockdown curfew

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, 9/12/2021 – Image: GCIS/ Flickr

Lives vs livelihoods: What can we expect from any new lockdown laws?

South Africans might be getting stricter COVID-19 lockdown regulations for Christmas this year, as the state mulls over the risks.

Covid-19 Lockdown curfew

Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, 9/12/2021 – Image: GCIS/ Flickr

South Africans may be enduring a bleak festive season with the government contemplating stricter COVID-19 lockdown measures – however, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele says that the state is concerned about the risks increased regulations may have on the economy.

This comes after a Cabinet briefing on Thursday with the minister confirming the extension of the State of Disaster into next year. While the nation remains on lockdown alert Level 1 for the time being citizens aren’t convinced that the next ‘family meeting’ will bring good news.

Covid-19 Lockdown
Minister Mondli Gungubele says the state is still contemplating the possibility of stricter Covid-19 lockdown regulations. Image: GCIS/ Flickr

President Cyril Ramaphosa has yet to announce a date for his next address according to Gungubele. Nevertheless, the minister acknowledges that past regulations had a negative impact.

“It is no longer in dispute the damage the restrictions at Level 4 and 5 caused. The attitude government is adopting is find the best possible way of navigating whilst ensuring the initiatives for livelihoods are intensified and the economy moves.”

Minister Gungubele

BusinessTech reports that Ministerial Advisory Committee chairperson Professor Koleka Mlisana commented on possible restrictions.

Lockdown restrictions dependent on healthcare system

Mlisana says that, despite the busy holiday season, travel restrictions ‘wouldn’t make any sense’. This is largely due to the high transmission rates of the Omicron variant.

While an increase in cases has been seen the infections appear to be less severe. In essence, this has placed less strain on the nation’s hospitals.

Mlisana noted that additional restrictions would only be introduced when the health system becomes overburdened. Nevertheless, the official confirmed that the situation is being ‘closely monitored’.

Gungubele echoed similar comments on the situation, saying that the information received by Cabinet pointed to adequate hospital capacity. 

While the fourth wave of infections is underway, saving the economy remains a priority.

 “So far, the reports we are getting is that there is no red flag in that regard. The other issue we are thinking about carefully is to live with this coronavirus. We need to find a balance between livelihoods and lives.”

Gungubele