- President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended the deployment of SANDF soldiers amid the Covid-19 pandemic
- 20 000 soldiers will continue to help SA weather the storm brought on by the virus
- This is far fewer troops than the original deployment of 76 000 soldiers
President Cyril Ramaphosa has informed Parliament of his decision to extend the deployment of SA National Defence force troops as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reuters reports that only 20 000 troops were deployed this time, a steep drop from the 76 000 initially deployed.
This extended deployment is expected to end in late September, according to the letter sent by the President.
Ramaphosa indicated that this extended redeployment will cost the nation R1.5 billion. The initial deployment during the three-week lockdown that began in March was expected to cost over R641 million, Briefly.co.za reported.
BusinessTech reports that this redeployment comes as SA faces a high possibility of returning to stricter lockdown levels.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura has warned his province that the 'Covid-19 storm' has arrived, prompting him to consider implementing stricter regulations.
Makhura explained that the province continues to advocate 'behavioural change' but he doubts that this will be enough. He commented that:
“We are also making presentations to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) at reinstating some of the harsher and more stringent (lockdown) measures. We think there may be a case for harder localised lockdown in areas where the infection rate is getting out of hand and people are not observing the measures being put in place.”
Some of the key issues which will be discussed include:
- The sale of alcohol
- The reopening of schools
- The reopening of churches
With the Western Cape also experiencing high infection levels, Premier Alan Winde explained that reintroducing lockdown could have adverse effects:
“Another strict lockdown will have a devastating impact on many of our most economically vulnerable residents. We are therefore not considering a return to Level 5 and no indication has been made to us by our counterparts in the national government that this is something they are considering.”
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