The Democratic Alliance (DA) Interim Leader, John Steenhuisen has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to update the nation on the continued lockdown of the country relating to COVID-19.
Steenhuisen says it has been more than two weeks since Ramaphosa last addressed the nation on the issue, when he announced that the country would move to alert level 4 of the lockdown.
He wants Ramaphosa to address the nation at least once a week and also take questions from the media during the briefing.
The DA also wants the President to disclose the scientific data the National Coronavirus Command Council, which Ramaphosa chairs, is using to justify the continued lockdown.
Steenhuisen says they have increasingly expressed their objection to the continued lockdown.
‘Lockdown doing more harm’
Last week, Steenhuisen came out against the lockdown, saying it is doing more harm than the virus it’s meant to curb.
Steenhuisen also called on Ramaphosa to rein-in his ministers and says government’s ban on cigarettes is unfounded.
He says there a growing impatience that is why citizens are no longer obeying the laws of the Level 4 lockdown.
“We also know that our country’s economy would only withstand a very limited freeze. That is why originally the lockdown had an end date. Three weeks was that it was going to take to source equipment, get hospitals ready and to train nurses and doctors. Level 4 lockdown is the same as Level 5, even more restrictive. We now have a military curfew enforced by more than 75 000 officers, which we didn’t have under Level 5 and this time with deadline in sight,” says Steenhuisen.
The party says the sad reality is that South Africans will lose their jobs during the extended lockdown.
Steenhuisen’s call is unwarranted
Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni has slammed Steenhuisen‘s call for the coronavirus lockdown to be phased out.
Mboweni has, in a tweet, advised Steenhuisen to . Mboweni says Steenhuisen’s call is unwarranted and disrespectful.
Cosatu calls for lockdown to be eased
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is pleading with government to ease the lockdown as soon as possible to avoid the economy from collapsing.
Cosatu say the coronavirus outbreak has put extra pressure on an already strained economy.
It wants workers to return to work as soon as possible saying South Africans cannot survive on social grant relief and food parcels alone.