National State of Disaster likely to be lifted next week: Dlamini-Zuma

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has announced that the National State of Disaster will likely be lifted next week.

Government has invited public comment on the new regulations aimed at guiding the country in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced cabinet’s intention to lift the National State of Disaster that came into effect two years ago.

Government faced mounting calls for the end of the National State of Disaster.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has since instructed its lawyers to bring an urgent application before court to challenge its extension earlier this month.

Dlamini-Zuma was briefing the media on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting held on Monday.

“We will publish these regulations for comments for 48 hours starting today and then we will analyse what they say, and then the president will announce the end of the National State of Disaster which will be before the 15th. Depending on the comments, it might be around the 5th of April.”

Dlamini-Zuma provides more clarity in the video below: 

Mounting calls 

Pressure has been mounting on government to completely abolish the National State of Disaster.

Non-Profit Organisation, Dear SA, says there is evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic no longer exists.

Dear SA’s Director, Gideon Joubert, says South Africa is no longer in a pandemic.

“The reasons are very simple. It is because the reasons that give rise to the State of Disaster no longer exist. We are no longer in a pandemic, as we have seen decisions made by other countries, and we do have effective measures to deal with COVID-19 already in our toolbox. Also, in the event of a pandemic, government has the power to reinstitute a State of Disaster with the correct oversight. The reason given by the CoGTA Minister is because she needs time to amend laws and regulations. That does confirm, rationally, that we are no longer in an actual disaster,” says Joubert.

Health experts have also added their voices. Professor of Vaccinology at Wits University, Shabir Madhi says the remaining restrictions and regulations no longer serve any purpose and should be lifted.

Prof Madhi says the country needs to move to a phase of learning to live with the virus.

In the video below, a discussion on growing calls to end the National State of Disaster: 

Political parties reactions 

Meanwhile, various political have reacted to Dlamini-Zuma’s media briefing:

-Additional reporting by SABC News