Photo: @alanwinde / Twitter
Following Ramaphosa’s speech on Monday, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said he doesn’t believe the right balance has been achieved.
Photo: @alanwinde / Twitter
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, on Tuesday 15 December, said he doesn’t believe the right balance has been achieved regarding the saving of lives and the saving of livelihoods. This came the day after President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation, announcing further restrictions due to the second wave of COVID-19.
On Monday night Ramaphosa said beaches in the Garden Route of the Western Cape would be shut down for the festive season. This applied to the Eastern Cape as well as KwaZulu-Natal for some of the time.
Apart from the Garden Route other beaches in the Western Cape will remain open but that’s not good enough for Winde.
“We welcome the differentiated approach adopted by the President, but the decision to close Garden Route beaches for [the] entire festive season will deal [a] devastating blow to our economy and needs to be reconsidered,” he said.
“Our position, as presented during consultations, remains that beaches in the Western Cape should remain open, provided proper steps can be taken to ensure health and safety guidelines are followed so that those who attend are safe. This is especially because they are outdoors where there is good ventilation – precisely the places we have been advising our residents to visit this festive season,” he added.
Winde said he will, therefore, be making further submissions to the National Government as he doesn’t believe the right balance has been achieved.
Winde praised Ramaphosa for avoiding a blunt lockdown and for taking the Western Cape government’s submissions into consideration.
The submitted plans included a request for the number of people being permitted to gather being reduced as well as the exception of tastings and sales at wine farms over the weekend. While it was welcomed, there was one mishap according to Winde.
“In the President’s address last night this was announced, but we are concerned that the regulations issued subsequently now limit the sale to Saturdays only. This doesn’t make any sense, as there is no difference between a Saturday and Sunday for this industry, and this limitation will undermine wine tourism which is highly dependent on weekends. We will be following up immediately to understand why this change was introduced in the regulations,” he said.
Winde went on to say that the Western Cape Government will continue to work with the private sector and health professionals in monitoring the impact of the additional restrictions, and when there is an opportunity to motivate for changes to them, it will continue to engage with the President and National Ministers.
“We especially believe that restrictions should be reviewed regularly so that they can be removed as soon as possible,” he added.