There’s been a mixed reaction from some political parties in the country to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement last night that the country is moving to an adjusted Level 3 lockdown. This as the country surpassed the 1 million mark of cumulative cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.
The new variant, referred to as 501.V2, is believed to be driving the current surge in infections in the country.
The measures include a suspension of alcohol sales, a ban on indoor and outdoor gatherings, a 9pm to 6am curfew, and the mandatory wearing of masks in public.
New Level 3 lockdown adjustments:
SA moves from Level 1 back to Level 3 of the lockdown
The curfew has been extended from 9am to 6am.
Alcohol sales from retail outlets will not be permitted
On-site consumption of alcohol will not be permitted
No consumption of alcohol in public spaces, including parks and beaches
Not wearing a mask is considered an offence, with the possibility of a fine, imprisonment or both.
All indoor and outdoor gatherings are prohibited for the next 14 days, except for funerals and other limited exceptions.
African National Congress (ANC) Deputy Secretary-General Jesse Duarte says the party fully supports the adjusted Level 3 lockdown announcement. Duarte says the decision to save lives during the pandemic is paramount.
She says young people in particular need to change their behaviour.
Duarte has appealed to young people to avoid all gatherings and so protect their loved ones from the coronavirus.
She says the biggest challenge facing the country is the pressure being placed on health care workers in the country.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has welcomed the announcement of the re-introduction of a suspension of alcohol sales during adjusted Level 3 of the lockdown. However, the EFF’s Vuyani Pambo says the Ramaphosa administration should have acted far sooner.
The party has accused the ANC government of being rudderless and indecisive.
The Good Party says the decision to place South Africa back on Level 3 COVID-19 restrictions, as a consequence of surging infections should serve as “devastating wake-up call” for all South Africans.
Party Secretary-General Brett Herron says in the past few weeks the country has witnessed obscene defiance, indifference, and recklessness across South Africa. Herron says everyone is now paying the price for that conduct. He says this should serve as a wake-up call is for all South Africans to get firmly behind the latest restrictions in the interests of a common future.
The Good Party further says this is not the time for the denialists, the conspiracy theorists, or the defiant to prevail. It says those who do not co-operate will undermine the prospects of a better 2021.
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has questioned delays in the coronavirus vaccine rollout plan. Steenhuisen says he suspects that the two missed payments for the COVAX initiative are behind the delays in rolling out the vaccine by the second quarter of next year.
Around 10% percent of the population should receive the vaccine by that time – mainly health care workers and the elderly.
In the video below, political parties react to the President’s announcement: