The possible continuation of strict lockdown regulations for the eThekwini district announced by KwaZulu-Natal Premier will not mean a complete shut-down of business. This is according to KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala.

Zikalala on Monday elaborated on the proposed plan during a Freedom Day visit to Clairwood Hospital in Durban, which is the province’s COVID-19 quarantine facility.

eThekwini has been deemed the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the province prompting the proposal for a continued stricter lockdown.

Zikalala dedicated Freedom Day to healthcare workers in the province, and celebrated the day with healthcare workers at Clairwood hospital, south of Durban.

The hospital was recently in the spotlight after patients who were quarantined at the Hospital, complained about being served stale food containing maggots.

The premier says healthcare workers at the coalface of the pandemic should be appreciated.

Zikalala says, “On this day we wish to pay tribute to all the healthcare workers in KwaZulu-Natal for their absolute commitment to help and for the wellbeing of the people of KwaZulu-Natal. As the government we are fully aware that we need to do more to improve the conditions of this sector.”

According to the provincial government KwaZulu-Natal has contributed 21% of confirmed cases in the country, with most cases coming from eThekwini.

In a briefing on Sunday, he said a further lockdown will allow the operations of business under strict restrictions, despite the national lockdown level having been dropped to level 4.

Zikalala says, “We are not saying we’ll close business operations. Those categories that will open will open, but they will be following stricter measures that we are going to put in place. It is not that we will keep everything closed, we will follow the National guidelines but we will look on what needs to be done to avoid the spread of the virus.”

Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee, Thanduxolo Sabelo says various measures have been put in place to fight the growing infection rates in the city.

Sabelo says, “We are also dealing with the issue of fumigating public spaces, our taxi ranks, train stations and everywhere where our public gather especially when they go to a place of work so we are fumigating those areas to make sure our city responds to the virus.”

The premier also received 3000 medical masks donated by the non-government organisation, the Muslim World League, to be distributed amongst the Clairwood Hospital medical staff.

DA lays charge against Zikalala for breaking lockdown rules

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal  laid a charge against Premier Sihle Zikalala for allegedly contravening the lockdown regulations.

This follows an event at Durban’s Clairwood Hospital during which Zikalala and government officials gathered with essential workers, including police and healthcare workers, to accept a donation of medical equipment.

The gathering took place in the parking area of the hospital.

The hospital is set to be the eThekwini’s quarantine facility. Additional wards are being built. The hospital is currently a 3 000 bed facility.

DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard says no gatherings are allowed to take place.

“No gatherings may take place unless it’s a funeral and it most certainly was not a funeral and Premier Zikalala had no right to hold such an event, especially in light that the police are picking up civilians all over KwaZulu-Natal on the most ridiculous charges like going to buy a loaf of bread or going to pick up their mother at a hospital. These are ridiculous charges. We’re living in jail in our homes and he feels he has the right to hold a public gathering he may not.”