President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans not to panic and be alarmed by the rising number of coronavirus infections in the country. He was speaking during the virtual Presidential Imbizo on coronavirus this evening. 

The President interacted with communities across the nation through over 80 community radio stations and some SABC platforms. Currently, the country has more than 150 000 infections with the number of deaths fast approaching 3000.

 Ramaphosa says the country will overcome the virus. “Of course the rise in infections is making us all anxious. We need to know our workplaces are safe; we need to know our schools are safe. But we are not helpless in the face of this virus if we take the necessary precautions, we really do not have to be afraid.”

In the video below, President Cyril Ramaphosa virtual interaction:

Lockdown 

South Africa entered the Level-3 lockdown on 1 June. Since then sectors of the economy have reopened and more people are going to work. 

Ramaphosa says people needed to go back to work. “The reality is that we could not remain under lockdown forever. People need to earn a living. Learners need to continue with their education. Businesses need to reopen to survive and for their staff to keep their jobs. “ 

SA’s Economy

South Africa’s economy has taken a knock as a result of the lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. The economy contracted by 2% in the first quarter of 2020. Figures revealed by Statistics South Africa on Monday revealed that Gross Domestic Product fell as a result of significantly low production output in the mining, manufacturing, and construction industries. 

“We must not underestimate the magnitude of the challenge we are facing and we have to be realistic that it will take some time for our economy to recover. What is important is that the work has begun, and we are confident that in the coming months we will begin to steadily see results.”