- The president has dismissed speculations that there is a link between easing the lockdown and the upcoming municipal elections
- South Africa moved to an adjusted lockdown alert Level 1 effective from midnight on Friday, 1 October
- Ramaphosa was visiting Katlehong as part of an inaugural weekend vaccination drive, where the government hopes to vaccinate 500 000 people
PAY ATTENTION: Follow Briefly News on Twitter and never miss the hottest topics! Find us at @brieflyza!
President Cyril Ramaphosa insisted that the decision to adjust the lockdown was anything but an elections ploy ahead of the local polls on 1 November, as some quarters have begun to speculate.
Ramaphosa announced on Thursday night that South Africa would move to an adjusted lockdown alert Level 1 from Level 2 effective from midnight on 1 October.
Ramaphosa said the move was informed by plausible scientific evidence. Briefly News reported that among several wholesale revisions under Level 1 restrictions, the curfew will be from 12 midnight to 4 am.
The sale of alcohol will be allowed for both off-site and on-site consumption. However, alcohol may not be sold after 11 pm.
PAY ATTENTION: Never miss breaking news – join Briefly News' Telegram channel!
"There are many who say, 'do away with the state of disaster and let people return to normal'. The decision was informed by science, and we will not [casually] respond to the whims of political leaders or others," said Ramaphosa.
"I don't want us to mix vaccinations with elections. The two are completely different. I dismiss the link that is trying to be created between vaccinations and elections."
Inaugural weekend vaccination drive launched
The president was in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg, as part of the government's Vooma Vaccination Weekend drive on Friday, according to SABC News.
He was joined by Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi, and the mayor of Ekurhuleni Mzwandile Masina.
Sites will be opened across the country from Saturday to vaccinate as many people as possible amid the inaugural campaign. News24 reported the government aims to vaccinate half a million people at the weekend.
"We are here drumming up support for vaccination. This has been in the pipeline for some time.
"It's largely because the vaccination numbers have been going down and we need to ramp them up.
"I reject people who say we are electioneering. This is not about elections. When I electioneer, I wear my ANC [ragalia] and my language is completely different. We know how to make those divisions."
SA moves to Level 1 adjusted lockdown
In recent related news, Briefly News reported that Ramaphosa on Thursday night addressed eager South Africans on the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the most part, this means many activities can resume for citizens, although Ramaphosa stressed that health guidelines should be observed at all times.
The curfew hours will be from 12 midnight to 4 am. The sale of alcohol will be allowed for both off-site and on-site consumption. However, no alcohol may be sold after 11 pm.
Cutting a compassionate figure, Ramaphosa noted the length of time the country has been under lockdown – nearly two years – and the strain this had had on people from all walks of life.
"We have experienced much hardship, and the most difficult of these has been the many relatives, colleagues and friends we have lost to this pandemic. We mourn every one of them," said Ramaphosa.
Source: Briefly News