Alan Winde calls for an end to the state of disaster – here’s what he's suggesting instead
Western Cape premier Alan Winde has joined calls for an end of to the national state of disaster, saying a new and different management system is needed for each province.
The government declared the national state of disaster under the Disaster Management Act on March 15, 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, it was once again extended by a month in the government gazette and is set to continue until October 15.
Winde said an extension of the national state of disaster, instead of an end, was concerning.
“The hard truth is that we cannot be in this state of disaster forever, and we need to have a frank discussion on how we will continue to manage Covid-19 in the future without relying on this extreme instrument,” said Winde in a statement.
He said the government must introduce a new, differentiated management system that takes into account each province’s coping capacity.
“We have learnt how to manage waves effectively in the province, and we continue to have the capacity to do so at the provincial level. I will be engaging with the president on this important matter during the national lekgotla this week, where all nine premiers will be present,” he said.
Winde's call comes after the DA and EFF expressed dismay over the move to level 2 lockdown ahead of the local government elections.
DA leader John Steenhuisen said Ramaphosa must commit to an end date for all lockdown restrictions as well as the state of disaster.
“If President Ramaphosa does not think this is what needs to happen, he must give his and his government’s reasons why not,” he said.
“South Africans have made extraordinary sacrifices in order to comply with restrictions and regulations that are seldom explained or justified. The president needs to take citizens into his confidence and let them know precisely why these sacrifices must continue.”
The EFF said it opposed the continued lockdown regulations and will not be subjected to a “lockdown elections environment”.
“The constitution of SA is unmistakable that elections must be held in a free and fair environment. Ramaphosa’s continued restrictions on political gatherings remain contrary to this,” said the EFF.