In anticipation of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address tonight, Northern Cape residents have called for lockdown relaxations to allow for more economic activity.
Some believe that the country will be moved to alert level 3 as the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme gains momentum.
The president will be speaking at 8:30 pm tonight.
Residents in the Northern Cape say they are concerned about the growing unemployment rate due to the pandemic.
“Level 4 has caused a lot of job losses. But as people now we are taking the vaccines. I took the vaccine. I believe that government is on the right track to help us as South Africans and see to it that they save as many lives as they can,” says one resident.
” We can go to a lower level, but if people don’t adhere to COVID-19 protocols then we might just stay where we are currently because even now people are not adhering to what is requested from us,” adds another resident.
“If the president moves us back to another level we would like him to permit alcohol sales in restaurants and establishments,” says a concerned resident.
Businesses hope for relaxed lockdown relaxation
Some sectors of South Africa’s economy, including the alcohol industry, are hoping that President Ramaphosa will relax the regulations in a move aimed at boosting the country’s ailing economy.
The National Liquor Council has called for the President to lift the ban on the sale of alcohol when he addresses the nation.
Council spokesperson Lucky Ntimane says the latest ban on the sale of alcohol has been the harshest yet. He says they haven’t had any direct engagement with the government, despite numerous requests.
The South African Events Council and the Association of African Exhibition Organisers have forecast a bleak future for the events and entertainment industry after its forced closure 19 months ago. Spokesperson and Chairperson, Projeni Pather, says dozens of smaller businesses face closure because of the continuing lockdown.
Alcohol industry expectations from President Ramaphosa’s address: