Ramaphosa lockdown Sunday 24 May

President Cyril Ramaphosa / Image via GCIS

Live stream: What time will Ramaphosa brief the nation on Sunday 24 May?

The president is expected to reveal government’s plan for a move to Level 3 lockdown.

Ramaphosa lockdown Sunday 24 May

President Cyril Ramaphosa / Image via GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to expand on Level 3 lockdown regulations when he addresses the nation on Sunday 24 May.

South Africans are sure to be glued to their screens this evening as President Ramaphosa reveals new details about the nationwide lockdown and government’s approach to easing regulations in order to revive the economy. The president is expected to address the nation at 19:00.

Although the lockdown, implemented almost two months ago, has managed to flatten the COVID-19 curve and buy the country’s healthcare system enough time to prepare for the inevitable peak, stringent regulations under the Disaster Management Act have decimated the South African economy.

Ramaphosa to elaborate on move to Level 3 lockdown

Public fear and anxiety, initially solely associated on the virus’ capacity for death and destruction, has shifted to the lockdown’s dire socioeconomic impact, which some analysts believe will be with South Africa for many years to come.

Government has been on the receiving end of widespread criticism, with opposition parties, civic societies and even prominent healthcare professionals opposed to the prolonged lockdown.

President Ramaphosa and the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), tasked with determining the battle plan and amending the Disaster Management Act to further flatten the curve, have been dogged by recent legal challenges. While the constitutionality of the NCCC continues to come under fire, other regulations, specifically the prohibition of tobacco and alcohol, have become flashpoints of serious contention.

According to recent reports, the NCCC has become fiercely divided over certain regulations associated with the move to Level 3 lockdown.

Live stream: Watch Cyril Ramaphosa address the nation on Sunday 24 May

[Live stream will begin at 19:00 on Sunday 24 May]

In addition to internal political conflicts marring the process, government’s proposed risk-adjusted, district-based approach has also come under serious scrutiny. President Ramaphosa, supported by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, recently announced that only districts which were able to prove their medical proficiency — in caring for patients and limiting the number of infections — would enjoy regulatory reprieves.

For areas with burgeoning caseloads, like Cape Town, or poor healthcare systems, like the Eastern Cape, Level 3 lockdown could still be far from reality.

In-depth consultations

After meeting with various stakeholders, including the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), the South African Council of Churches and leaders in the tourism industry, Ramaphosa is expected to update the nation on the move to Level 3 lockdown. Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, said:

“The president’s address follows recent meetings of Cabinet, the National Coronavirus Command Council and the President’s Coordinating Council, which considered the prospects for the country’s progression from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 of the national lockdown.”