The African National Congress (ANC)  has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa, that the country has now moved to alert level two of the nationwide lockdown from  Sunday.

The president says the continued decrease in a number of infections in recent weeks is one of the reasons why the restrictions on movement are being eased. With a few weeks ahead of the local government elections, the ANC says this announcement comes at a right time, to allow political parties to conduct election campaigns, but under strict COVID-19 regulations.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe says, “In places where they gather, they should make sure that there is ventilation – especially now that we a few weeks away from the elections. We have to make sure that will be participating in these elections that will be going out there to present their different manifestos do so under conditions where they are able to observe covid-19 protocols.”

The Econoic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has vowed not to adhere to the newly introduced lockdown regulations.  EFF spokesperson on elections, Leigh Mathys says in the EFF gatherings comprise of more than 500 people. Therefore she doesn’t see the party adhering to what the President said.

“When we have EFF gathering, it’s never limited to 500 people. But we are also not going to a hearing to Ramaphosa regulations, we know that this is no longer about COVID-19  regulations but it is about the ANC trying to stifle from doing campaigns during elections,” says Mathys.

South Africa moves to Lockdown Level 2: ANC, DA, FF+ and UDM reaction:

Inkatha Freedom Party IFP) spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa says Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the country is welcomed. This because it will open the gates for the IFP to intensify its campaign for the local government elections, set to take place in November. He says however, the different political parties will have to keep the eye on the ball and not let their guard down.

COVID-19 regulations still need to be observed. Hlengwa says, the IFP is looking forward to participating in these municipal elections

“This essentially enables us now to have a clear direction on how campaigning should take place. However, we do want to as the IFP reiterate that we do need to continue on the safety trajectory that we all have embarked upon as a country, to ensure that we adhere to the regulations to curb the spread of this virus,” says Hlengwa.

The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus)says,  Ramaphosa’s address is not going to do any good for the country, because already, Police are failing to implement the curfew.

Wouter Wessels, FF Plus spokesperson, says the level two nationwide lockdown will allow the party to go all out and campaign for the coming local government elections. He says, South Africans are hungry for change at the municipal level, change that will see service delivery taking place. Wessels says, “we don’t understand the curfew because currently the police are failing to implement this curfew as is now. We welcome the fact that political gatherings will be allowed. But we do that, the fact the vaccination programme is going well, it must be acknowledged that government initially failed and that there was a slow response.”

United Democratic Movement (UDM) Leader, General Bantu Holomisa says, although the adjusted level two of the nationwide lockdown is welcome – it would have made more sense if  Ramaphosa had put the country to level one.

He says the economy is not in favour of those who are in business anymore – therefor something drastic needs to happen to revive the ailing economy.

The UDM’s Holomisa says, “Can’t we make use of our military, at least between now and December, to assist the department of Health, by dispatching those who are tasked to do vaccination to all corners of our South Africa, epscailily in rural areas. If for instance you drive from Mthatha to Coffee Bay, it is embarrassing you would think you are somewhere in Afghanistan, there is no road there.”

Congress of the People  (COPE) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intensify his awareness campaign on the importance of vaccinating all sectors of society during this time of Covid-19. Party spokesperson, Dennis Bloem says, as much they welcome last night announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions, more people are still reluctant to take the vaccine due to lack of knowledge and that something must done.

Bloem says there is a need for vaccine education in South Africa.

He spoke to the SABC News following the president’s address to the nation.

“We are specifically happy that we can now go to church now freely. But Francis we must say that government must put more effort in the covid-19 vaccine education – we know that there are still a section of a society that are very reluctant to take the vaccine says.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa national address on the COVID-19 response: