The African National Congress fully support decisions and undertakings made by the National Corona Virus Command Council (NCVCC) in relation to the regulations around the Level 4 Eased Lockdown.
The ANC further notes with dismay discussions and suggestions by some purporting that individual Ministers take unilateral decisions on matters related to the COVID-19 interventions that are meant to save lives and protect South Africans from this pandemic.
The work of government is guided by the collective of Cabinet and the NCVCC led by the President of Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, constituted to specifically address matters related to the pandemic.
To this end, government and through the NCVCC has taken urgent and drastic measures to manage the disease, protect the people of our country and reduce the impact of the virus on our communities. Each and every step considered is broadly consulted with the stakeholders including the broader South African public before execution.
Some of the measures undertaken by government to date include a decision by Cabinet to declare a National State of Disaster in accordance with laws of the Republic which all of us across political divides firmly endorsed.
Given the scale and the speed at which the virus is spreading, the numbers of those infected continue to increase at an alarming rate.
Unfortunately in an effort to save lives, some of these measures included limiting of people rights and freedoms, closing down some sectors of the economy and a ban of social gatherings, sale of alcohol and tobacco related products.
The decision by the NCVCC to continue with ban on the sale of tobacco during the Level 4 Eased lockdown was pronounced to have been carefully considered following a broad and open consultation process. The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma makes this pronouncements in her official capacity and therefore individual attacks directed at her for carrying out her official duties are unfortunate and mostly come across as racial and misogynistic.
The Disaster Management Act of 2002 confers on the Minster of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs the responsibility to co-ordinate the country’s national disaster mitigation efforts.
The ANC calls on the NCVCC and Cabinet to continue to strengthen the regulations in order to save lives and decrease the risk of people being infected by the virus.
We join all patriotic and peace-loving South Africans in commending our government for the humane actions and measures undertaken to date. All these efforts are substantially and rapidly increasing our public health response which have already resulted in a huge increase in community screening and testing.
The ANC once more appeals to all South Africans to continue to cooperate and submit to the precautionary measures aimed at fighting and defeating the COVID-19 pandemic.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
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