'End the disastrous state of disaster,' says DA's John Steenhuisen

DA leader John Steenhuisen has called for an end to the extended state of disaster. File photo.
DA leader John Steenhuisen has called for an end to the extended state of disaster. File photo.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

DA leader John Steenhuisen has ridiculed President Cyril Ramaphosa's decision to extend the national state of disaster, and called for it to end.

Ramaphosa said that, at the time of his address, there were more than 742,000 confirmed cases across SA and more than 20,000 Covid-19 related fatalities.

“To ensure that we can keep all the necessary prevention measures in place, we are, as required by the Disaster Management Act, extending the national state of disaster by another month, to December 15, 2020,” he said.

Steenhuisen said after the speech that it was incomprehensible that the state of disaster has been extended by another month.

“The government cannot keep managing SA around a single risk when our nation is so imperilled by far greater risks, such as poverty, hunger and unemployment. We reject with contempt the veiled threat of a return to higher levels of lockdown.

“This country is in serious trouble. What people need most right now is maximum freedom and confidence to rebuild the economy and their lives. They need stability and certainty that there will be no return to lockdown, ever,” Steenhuisen said.

He said the state of disaster has itself been disastrous, “fuelling not just a feeding frenzy of corruption, but also illegal land invasions and lawlessness”.

“The government needs to get its act together and put regulations for Covid-19 in place for a new normal until vaccination is widely available so that the state of disaster can end,” he said.

Steenhuisen said the ongoing lockdown, and the continuous threat of a harder lockdown that still hangs over SA, will greatly harm the economic recovery.  

“We reiterate our call for the government to end the lockdown, end the state of disaster, open the borders, end the curfew, and allow SA to get back to normal economic activity. The possibility of any more lockdowns must be unequivocally rejected.

“People know Covid-19 exists. But they know it exists alongside plenty of other risks.

“Stop managing SA around a single risk, Mr President. Stop the fearmongering, stop the economy-bashing, and end the state of disaster,” he said.

TimesLIVE


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