President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended South Africa’s 21 days national lockdown by two more weeks.

He announced this in a television address on Thursday evening.

The President says there’s compelling evidence that the lockdown is working.

“If we end the lockdown too soon or too abruptly we risk a massive and uncontrollable resurgence of the disease we risk reversing the gains that we have made over the last few weeks and rendering meaningless the great sacrifices that we have all made. Fellow South Africans this evening I stand before you to ask you to endure a little longer.”

The rate of new infections has slowed down.

“Since the lockdown came into effect, the rate at which new cases have been identified here in South Africa has slowed significantly.  From 1 170 confirmed cases on the 27th of March, the number of confirmed cases today stands at 1 934. In the two weeks before the lockdown, the average daily increase in new cases was around 42%.  Since the start of the lockdown, the average daily increase has been around 4%.”

Ramaphosa says South Africans have been cooperative and have largely adhered to the regulations .

“During the course of these last two weeks, your lives have been severely disrupted, you have suffered great hardship and endured much uncertainty. We have closed our borders to the world, our children are not in school, businesses have closed their operations, many have lost their income, and our economy has ground to a halt. And yet, faced with such daunting challenges, you, the people of South Africa, have responded with remarkable patience and courage.”

In the video below, President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation:

Ramaphosa says government will continue fighting the effect of the virus through intensified public health response, a comprehensive of economic support measures to support businesses and increased support to the poor.