Democratic Alliance’s challenge against Garden Route beach closure dismissed

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The High Court in Cape Town has dismissed the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s challenge against beach closures on the Garden Route.

The Democratic Alliance says it’s disappointed by the judgment handed down by the High Court in Cape Town.

DA leader John Steenhuisen welcomes the amended hours from 9AM to 6PM to 6AM to 7PM.

“The DA is still deeply concerned that the blanket closure of the Garden Route’s beaches over the festive season will have far-reaching and devastating consequences for local economies, and for the livelihoods, which depend on seasonal tourism during this time.”

“While we respect the judgment, we understand that this ruling remains a devastating blow to the thousands of small businesses along the Garden Route, which are now at serious risk of collapse. This problem will not go away once South Africa emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, and we cannot ignore the risk to livelihoods which many lockdown restrictions present. The DA will continue to act in both the interests of the lives and livelihoods of South Africans during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure that we keep citizens safe and that we still have an economy left once the dust has settled.”

On Monday, South Africa reported 8 789 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the cumulative total to 930 711 cases.

The Western Cape currently has the highest number of active cases at 37 061.

The Health Department said on Monday 216 COVID-19 related deaths had also been reported.

According to the latest report, 6 176 683 tests have been conducted with 35 844 tests conducted in the past 24 hours.



Below are figures from different provinces:

Scientists to study variants 

Earlier, the World Health Organisation says it is working with scientists to study variants of coronavirus that emerged in the UK and South Africa.

The UK is battling to contain a new variant of the virus, which is more contagious, much like the one that has emerged in South Africa.

WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says “In the past few days, there have been reports of new variants of the COVID-19 virus in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Viruses mutate over time; that’s natural and expected. The UK reported that this new variant transmits more easily but there is no evidence so far that it’s more likely to cause severe disease or mortality. The WHO is working with scientists to understand how these genetic changes affect how the virus behaves.”