Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs was yesterday criticized by the government for its handling of the COVID 19 pandemic, even from abroad, because she does not know which city is the capital of South Africa.
This is evident from written answers to questions asked by opposition members in parliament and published this week.
George Michalakis, a member of the National Council of Provinces (NRP), said in a statement on Tuesday that Dlamini-Zuma, charged with overseeing municipalities, was asked by a DA MP to declare in which municipality the capital of the republic is.
Her written response, published this past week: “The information requested. . . will be submitted as soon as it is available. “
Michalakis says it is inconceivable that a minister who has to oversee governance in cities and municipalities does not even know in which municipality the capital is.
“This shows that the minister does not take her parliamentary duties seriously, despite the fact that she is fully accountable to parliament,” Michalakis says.
Dlamini-Zuma also couldn’t answer questions about the reasons for some of the other containment regulations.
Meanwhile, the government’s Covid-19 strategy has been questioned in foreign media this week as the economy opens while more than 4,000 new cases are reported daily.
The AFP news agency reported on Monday night about South Africa having now crossed the notch of 100,000 confirmed cases. With its 101 590 cases (up from 80 247 in less than a month), South Africa has overtaken China’s 84 624 cases and is currently short on the heels of Canada, which has 103 418 cases.
South Africa is also separate from the other African countries and has 80 600 cases more than Nigeria, which has the second most cases on the continent.
“South Africa has struggled to establish a Covid-19 strategy to deal with the pandemic,” AFP reports.
In March, the government announced a strict state of containment, but “scrambled back as the infection rate began to rise and decided to open sectors of the economy”.
It is also reported on how many South Africans “struggle to survive despite an unprecedented $ 26 billion aid package and food parcels”.
The BBC also in a report on Monday referred to all the people who lost their jobs and businesses that had to close their doors permanently.
Dlamini-Zuma said in a debate on the pandemic in the NRP on Tuesday that the government was under pressure from all sides on its handling of the pandemic with more than 90 court cases started against him since the start of the restriction.
“We lost some of the business; others won us over. Some are out of court and others are still pending.
“There are those who say we should have announced a state of emergency and that we are acting unconstitutionally. On the other hand, there are those who say we move too fast by phasing out the restriction and that we should not open schools, ”says Dlamini-Zuma.
She said the government had not drafted the regulations unilaterally and that he had been in discussions with other stakeholders.
People’s movement should remain limited because the healthcare system is not yet ready for Covid-19 and because little is known about the nature of the viral disease, she says.
At the same time, the government is firmly convinced that it is the pandemic that is crippling economies and not containment measures, she says.
DA MP Dennis Ryder said in the debate that the government had failed with its Covid-19 strategy.
“Too few beds were prepared over a long period of time and in the process the economy was destroyed. It’s the ANC that made the bed and now we all have to lie on it, ”he says.
According to Ryder, the cause of the country’s troubled situation can be attributed to the plundering of state resources before the crisis and to the Covid 19 command council that pushed the broken economy down the abyss.
“In the first three weeks of the restriction, people supported the government, but it subsequently turned into an authoritarian government that has stripped away human rights.
“Under . . . Dlamini-Zuma has ratified disturbing and irrational regulations, ”says Ryder.
Dr. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said at the opening of a field hospital in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday that the case was unexpected, barely 107 days after the first case was announced in the country.
“Just a few weeks ago, the virus was still unprecedented in our country and no one would think more than 100,000 people would contract the virus.
“Although we do not say we have the perfect strategy against the pandemic, it is important that we devote our country’s workforce to the dedication and dedicate hours to fighting the virus.”
About the reopening economy, Mkhize says people need to understand that the infestations are not less.
“We just have to maintain a balance.” – Meghan Lawrence, Christiaan du Plessis and Cara-Lee Dorfling
Dlamini-Zuma could not answer:
- What are the reasons why the pandemic was declared a national disaster instead of a provincial or local disaster, and what data was used to classify the disaster under the Disaster Management Act, Act 57 of 2002?
- What were the “scientific grounds” for the sale of tobacco products?
The answer to both questions was that the reasons would be provided “as soon as detailed information is available”.
The DA has also complained in the past that Dlamini-Zuma did not respond to questions, and used the unavailability of the information requested as an excuse.
Dlamini-Zuma, who plays a key role in the government’s response to the Covid 19 pandemic, has repeatedly used this excuse on questions posed to her since Thursday. In some cases, she referred the person who asked the question to another department.