Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement Wednesday evening that the seclusion regulations are being further relaxed is an acknowledgment that “seclusion serves no purpose and failed”.
DA leader John Steenhuisen says Ramaphosa has finally realized exactly how devastating the lockdown period was – and will continue to be – but that it is already hopelessly late. Steenhuisen says everything announced last night should have been done two months ago.
Ramaphosa announced in his speech that several industries will now be allowed to get started again. From now on, people will be allowed to go out for dinner (and sit for it), go to movies, gamble and even use personal care services such as those of hair and beauty salons.
Steenhuisen says it is unclear at what level South Africans are at the moment – not that it makes any difference, since in practice the lockdown has ended. However, he believes it is too late to save thousands of businesses and millions of jobs.
He says the president’s words of compassion for all the industries forced to suspend their operations and whose workers could not earn a salary for 80 days are empty because his own government caused this suffering.
According to Steenhuisen, not much can be shown for the isolation time and infections increase significantly. He says although Ramaphosa wants to show the country that the economic devastation was inevitable, that square should be put before the ANC’s door.
Despite the relief to many people, regulations are still being enforced. This includes the ongoing ban on private accommodation and kindergartens that are still not allowed to reopen.
Dr. Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus, says it is clear that due to the numerous lawsuits brought against him, including those by the FF Plus, the government has forced the government to make concessions on the regulations. “For example, it doesn’t make sense to allow beauty salons, the hotel and restaurant industry two weeks after level 3 took effect. The question may be asked what has changed in the past two weeks regarding the Covid-19 infection rate in these industries. “
Groenewald says the pandemic is still not under control.
“The only logical conclusion, therefore, is that the government is beginning to succumb to the pressure of increasing lawsuits over its irrational containment regulations.”
There is still no date for when the industries may be reopened and Groenewald says the recent past has shown that an announcement by Ramaphosa is not necessarily the final decision.
“In light of the above planned concessions, it also makes no sense to continue to ban cigarette sales. This is irrational and the FF Plus suspects that a motive may be involved that is not related to Covid-19. “
In his speech, Ramaphosa also referred to the spate of violence against women – a problem that the FF Plus is at the door of a defective justice system.