- DA leader John Steenhuisen says that President Cyril Ramaphosa should open the economy immediately
- This follows the announcement that South Africa would be migrating to Level 3 lockdown as of June 1
- The opposition boss says that an entire generation of South Africans will be paying the cost of the past six weeks for years to come
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DA leader John Steenhuisen is adamant that SA's economy could hardly withstand the first three weeks of lockdown, let alone a further extension.
Steenhuisen feels the extension has come at a massive cost with precious little to show for it. While the DA welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that the nation would shift to Level 3 on 1 June, the party feels it should have happened weeks ago:
“This is in line with what the DA has called for, repeatedly, for the past month. While it is critical that we now save what can be saved in our economy, it must be said that by the time Alert Level 3 comes into effect in a week’s time, it will be a full six weeks too late.”
READ ALSO: Ramaphosa: SA mostly moves to Level 3- Booze in, smokes remains banned
Steenhuisen is adamant that there was 'no rational justification' to extend the lockdown beyond the first three weeks:
“The resulting hardship and suffering and ultimately, the premature deaths of South African citizens due to this will have been largely avoidable. The government and President Ramaphosa will need to answer for this. South Africa has now entered its ninth week of hard lockdown, which makes ours the second-longest lockdown in the world, after only Italy, and by 1 June we will have surpassed Italy."
Briefly.co.za reported that the DA had firmly opposed the continued lockdown, adamant that Ramaphosa should lift it totally.
In addition to this, Steenhuisen has called for the president to announce the plan to rescue an economy that is currently losing R13 billion daily:
“Unless we immediately implement structural reforms, which include selling and privatising state-owned enterprises (SOEs), scrapping destructive plans like expropriation without compensation and National Health Insurance (NHI). Also dramatically cutting the public wage bill, an entire generation of South Africans will be left to pay the price for the six weeks that destroyed our economy."
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