Tuesday, March 15, 2022

National State of Disaster extended; Winde unhappy

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has gazetted a further extension of the National State of Disaster on COVID-19, until 15 April 2022

Dlamini-Zuma said the extension took into consideration the “need to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of state to address the impact of the disaster”.

The country has been under regulations of the National State of Disaster on COVID-19 since March 2020 when South Africa recorded its first cases of the virus.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, during his State of the Nation Address in February, said government planned to scrap the National State of Disaster as the country entered a new phase in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde described the extension as unacceptable.

‘’Despite having months to prepare alternative public health measures that would normalize our response while enabling us to focus on creating jobs, it seems that the National Government has not yet finished the job. This is unacceptable, and President Cyril Ramaphosa owes South Africa an explanation.’’

Winde says he was not consulted about the extension, as a President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) meeting, where provinces engage with the National Government on matters such as the national disaster, did not occur.

‘’It is also concerning that the extension took place without a President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) meeting, which meant that provinces were unable to engage with the National Government on this matter. ‘’

‘’The bottom line is that we cannot be in a state of disaster indefinitely. The provincial budget, which we tabled yesterday, makes clear that we remain fully prepared to respond to further COVID-19 waves, and that we will continue to invest in our vaccination programme to save lives. But the scientific evidence is clear: we no longer need a disaster act declaration to manage the pandemic, and we instead need to normalize our response through existing health legislation,’’ added Winde

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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