- The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister continues to avoid questions from MPs
- Opposition MPs asked Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma about the rationale behind the declaration of Covid-19 as a national disaster
- The minister said there is no information available at this stage
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Opposition parties are seeking answers for the declaration of the Covid-19 virus as a national disaster and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has none.
The scientific rationale used to ban the sale of tobacco products is also not available, nor the reasons why are alcohol sales are allowed under lockdown Level 3.
This is according to responses from Dlamini-Zuma in written replies to questions posed by opposition MPs.
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DA MP Gizella Opperman asked the COGTA Minister:
"What are the reasons that informed the decision to declare Covid-19 a national disaster instead of a provincial or local disaster and what data was used to classify the disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act, Act 57 of 2002?"
Another DA MP Zakhele Mbhele asked:
"With reference to her assertion that the sale and use of tobacco products is associated with increased risk of the spread of SARS-CoV-2, which she used to justify the prohibition of tobacco product sales, what is the scientific rationale and empirical basis for the prohibition; whether she and/or her department assessed the countervailing hypothesis that nicotine actually minimises the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as suggested by data showing a disproportionate under-representation of habitual smokers in infection cases; if not, why not; if so, what conclusions have been drawn in this regard?"
Both MPs received the response that the information requested was not readily available in the department. Dlamini-Zuma added that the information would be submitted to the MPs as soon as available, said News24.
In May, the COGTA minister also evaded questions about the tobacco ban and gave the same answer given to Opperman and Mbhele.
Briefly.co.za reported that Dlamini-Zuma has come under fire for comments that purport to be in favour of the ANC policy of "cadre deployment".
Dlamini-Zuma has been in the firing line for her continued stance on the ban of tobacco.
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