For all the latest news in South Africa, be sure to check out an overview of all major headlines on Friday 24 April.
South Africa is abuzz with talk of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s riveting Thursday night address, which primarily focused on lockdown regulations and gradual amendments to the Disaster Management Act in May. The president also touched on the contentious military mobilisation which will dominate the country until June 2020.
Today’s latest news in South Africa, Friday 24 April
President Ramaphosa announces lockdown levels
In line with government’s assertions of gradual release, President Ramaphosa revealed that the lockdown would be relaxed, or heightened, according to a set of levels dependant on the veracity of the virus’ spread.
South Africa, currently at level five, the highest and most stringent level of lockdown, will enter level four on 1 May. In addition to a national level, both provincial and municipal administrations will be tasked with monitoring and adjusting the level model.
The following restrictions will remain in place after 30 April, at stage four:
- Bars and shebeens
- Conference and convention centres
- Entertainment venues, including cinemas, concerts and theatres
- Sporting events
- Religious, cultural and social gatherings
All eyes turn to ministers
Attention now turns to individual departments and ministers, who are due to provide finer details on the level model and how it impacts the country’s operations. Although Ramaphosa revealed the level model, he’s left elaboration on specific industries and sectors to the respective ministers.
Members of the National Command Council (NCC), tasked with overseeing and implementing regulations pertaining to the Disaster Management Act, are expected to meet over the weekend to finalise details of the level approach.
Ministers are expected to issue directives early next week, prior to the shift to level four.
Latest COVID-19 cases in South Africa
South Africa has recorded 318 new COVID-19 cases, with the total number of confirmed cases at 3 953 as of Thursday.
The country has also reported 10 new deaths – with the Western Cape recording six deaths, KwaZulu-Natal two deaths and Gauteng and the Eastern Cape have each recorded one death. This brings the number of total deaths related to COVID-19 to 75.
“We convey our condolences to the families of the deceased and thank our health workers who treated the deceased patients,” the Minister said.
As of Thursday, the Western Cape surpassed Gauteng’s confirmed cases and now has the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases in the country.
“A further analysis is being done as we are observing outbreak clusters in the Western Cape. This means that a large number of people who operate and interact in the same area (eg. factories, shopping centres) are testing positive,” Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize said.
The breakdown of total COVID-19 cases is as follows: Western Cape 1 279; Gauteng 1 252; KwaZulu-Natal 807; Free State 106; Limpopo 27; Eastern Cape 417; North West 25; Northern Cape 16 and Mpumalanga 23.
The Minister expressed concern at the steady increase of positive cases. (Source: SAnews)
President visits Gauteng
President Cyril Ramaphosa visit sites identified as COVID-19 facilities in the Gauteng Province.
Accompanied by Premier David Makhura, the President will commence his programme at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, where he will do a walkabout of a hall demarcated as a quarantine or isolation facility for patients.
The President will then proceed to the Johannesburg Central Food Bank in Booysens, which is also used to assist communities in need of food parcels during the coronavirus outbreak.
Government routinely uses food banks across the country to provide social relief to communities. Currently, this service has been intensified as part of the national response to COVID-19.
The programme of the President will conclude at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, one of the hospitals designated to manage COVID-19 cases. (Source: GCIS)
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