It may be Good Friday but the nation is still reeling following the announcement that the 21-day national coronavirus lockdown will be extended by a further 2 weeks. Briefly.co.za explores 5 of the latest updates on the situation.
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President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that most South Africa will remain behind closed doors for a further two weeks is weighing heavily on the nation today.
In his Good Friday message the president assured the nation that although the challenge remains immense this time will pass and the country will overcome.
Briefly.co.za explores 5 of the latest updates on the current situation:
1. Covid-19: SA records over 2 000 cases but Mkhize cautiously optimistic
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 2 003.
The number of deaths related to the virus has risen to 24 fatalities, but the minister had expressed optimism that South Africa may on the right path.
“The unity that has been shown during this time has begun to show green shoots. It is possible that we may be able to buck the trend and chart our own path.”
2. Covid-19: Ramaphosa acknowledges fear but reassures SA will overcome
President Ramaphosa acknowledged the fear and uncertainty many citizens are feeling at this point in time:
"Many of us are anxious about our health and the health of our children. We worry how we will be able to make ends meet or if we will have jobs to go back to. The poorest of the poor worry where their next meal will come from. Our young people are unsure that they will be able to finish their studies or graduate. Business owners are counting the cost of the closures and what it will mean for them and those who depend on them to earn a living. Many feel vulnerable. Others feel frustrated and powerless. Many are afraid."
The President's message is one of hope and resilience in the face of this unseen enemy:
"But we South Africans are a resilient people. We endured the worst excesses of a dark past and were able to emerge, united and strong. The virtues of courage, of optimism and of compassion carried us along the path to freedom, and they are what sustain us today."
3. Covid-19: EFF cuts wages to donate, welcomes lockdown extension
The Economic Freedom Fighters have announced that all its public representatives would be donating a third of their salaries to the Solidarity Fund.
President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that members of his cabinet, deputy ministers and premiers, including himself, would be contributing a similar portion of their income to the coronavirus relief fund.
In a statement released in response to the lockdown extension, spokesperson Vuyani Pambo commented:
“As part of our contribution to the fight against Covid-19, all EFF public representatives, inclusive of MPs, members of provincial legislatures, and councillors, will contribute a third of our monthly salaries to the Covid-19 Solidarity Fund."
4. Covid-19: DA thinks President Ramaphosa is making a 'big mistake'
The Democratic Alliance has denounced the decision to extend the current national lockdown, dubbing it a 'big mistake'.
The opposition party is frustrated by what it views as a 'lack of accountability', with leader John Steenhuisen criticising the lack of remote Parliamentary meetings since the start of the lockdown.
Ramaphosa is making the wrong move as far as the DA is concerned, despite approval from the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Freedom Front Plus.
Steenhuisen feels that the economic crisis has the potential to threaten more lives than the coronavirus itself.
5. Coronavirus: Parents will be allowed to buy baby, toddler essentials
The government has allowed for the sale of products intended for the care of babies during the lockdown.
eNCA reports that this includes baby clothes, blankets, towels and other essential accessories for South African infants up to the age of 36 months.
Two NGOs, the Tebeila Institute of Leadership, Education, Governance and Training and the African Institute for Human Rights and Constitutional Litigation, won this victory after taking the matter to court.
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