President Cyril Ramaphosa will no longer be addressing the nation as earlier reported. This was announced by Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria where Ramaphosa is locked in a meeting with the National Command Council on the coronavirus situation in South Africa.
Discussions at the meeting at the Union Buildings in Pretoria relate to progress made in the implementation of regulations to curb the disease, whether additional measures are required and possible interventions to mitigate the economic fallout.
Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu, “We would like to see whether the measures we have put in place are really assisting us and there are suggestions that … are being discussed by the National Command Council. We are still continuing with the discussions. We are not sure when at what time the meeting will be concluded at this stage.”
In the video, Jackson Mthembu addresses the media outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria:
Since the meeting is expected to drag until very late on Sunday night, the president is expected to only address the nation on Monday.
Earlier, the president met with business leaders to discuss ways to economically get through the crisis that has befallen the entire world.
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel says business has contributed excellent ideas and proposals to government with regards to mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
Representatives of business organisations including Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) , Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA), the Banking Association and large insurance companies met with President Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings. The engagement was aimed at ensuring that a consolidated economic plan takes into account the business sector’s recommendations.
Patel says the details will be announced during the President’s address tot the nation later today.
“We gave a report on the work that government is doing work; that we are doing in monitoring the impact of the global slowdown in our own economy because we sell goods to other parts of the world. We shared with the business community also the work we are doing to ensure basic stocks of health products in South Africa, that there are food and other stocks to our people. We provided information on competition exemptions and price regulations that have been published that have been published in the last number of days. We also talked about what we can do to protect vulnerable enterprise particularly small businesses.”
In the video below, political parties and business communities pledge support to government:
Earlier in the week there were reports that the president would announce a State of Emergency and complete lockdown which would ban inter-provincial travelling. However, President Ramaphosa’s Spokesperson Khusela Diko says there is no truth in rumours going around that government will announce a total lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a tweet, Diko cautioned South Africans against spreading fake news.
The last time President Ramaphosa addressed the nation was last week Sunday when he announced a raft of measures to try and contain the spread of the COVID-19 in South Africa, including a national state of disaster.
There are 240 confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Africa and more than 1000 on the continent. According to the latest global figures the virus has now claimed 13 783 lives with more than 322 000 people infected.
Below is the timeline of the coronavirus in South Africa: