Tuesday marks exactly six months since the coronavirus was declared a national disaster on March 15.
The announcement was made 10 days after the first case was reported in South Africa which was followed by an initial gradual rise in confirmed infections, mostly imported through international travel.
A national state of disaster was declared using the Disaster legislation implemented by the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister with the country going into Alert Level 5 lockdown on the March 26.
In the video below, President Cyril Ramaphosa announces the national state of disaster:
The coronavirus was not only declared a national disaster, but it was also the first time that the Disaster Management Act was invoked to declare a national state of disaster.
The Act makes provision for the first 90 days to be declared a national state of disaster.
It further makes provision for month-to-month extensions. So far, there have been four month-to-month extensions.
The third one officially comes to an end on Tuesday and the fourth one will kick in until October 15.
In the video below, Political Analyst Ongama Mtimka speaks about the six months under the national state of disaster:
In May, the Democratic Alliance and Freedom Front Plus filed papers at the Gauteng High Court to challenge the constitutionality of government’s Disaster Management Act. The political parties say certain regulations under the national lockdown are unconstitutional and is damaging South Africa’s already fragile economy.
In the video below, Political parties continue to express mixed reactions to the national state of disaster:
In April, the Chairperson in Social Justice at the University of Stellenbosch, Professor Thuli Madonsela, said the measures introduced under the Disaster Management Act are not in line with the Constitution.