More than 1.5 million workers expected to return to work when Level 4 kicks in

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More than 1.5 million workers are expected to head back to work early next month. This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement last week that the nationwide lockdown would be eased from Level 5 to Level 4 on May 1.

Many workers were feeling the economic effects of the lockdown as they rely on their jobs to provide for their families.

Analysts say this is the right move by the government, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause havoc across the globe.

“The lockdown is still there. There will just be a few changes, but what is important is that there will be more people going to work and more companies opening up. That’s basically the major change. The rest, more or less, remains the same,” said Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

She emphasized that the nationwide lockdown will continue in South Africa.

Dlamini-Zuma has cautioned companies who are to re-open to make sure all the rules of the lockdown are adhered to in the workplace.

For the workers, this announcement by Cogta is most welcome.

In the video below, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma outlines Level 4 lockdown regulations: 

Political analyst Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana says there is no other way, for now, but to gradually re-start the country’s economic activity.

However, many have raised concerns that it may be too soon to ease the lockdown as the coronavirus cases are fast approaching the 5 000 mark.

Ndletyana says tough decisions need to be taken at this point.

“So, if you say people shouldn’t go to work, you’re literally saying that we are not going to grow the economy and with that will be a lot of discontentment and disappointment at him. It will mean that he has not delivered. Nonetheless, despite that he decided to take the necessary steps, he was bold. And also what I like about his constant announcements, alongside the Minister of Health, shows that they are being honest. I don’t think they try to sugar-coat this.”

The education sector is also expected to announce plans that will be implemented soon, to see the re-opening of schools and universities in the country.

Both Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her Higher Education counterpart, Dr Blade Nzimande, will brief the country after a consultative meeting with Parliament’s portfolio committee on education.

The graphic below shows more information about Level 4 :