The ruling party is under immense pressure as the national state of disaster ends on Saturday August 15 at midnight. As of Saturday morning, South African citizens did not hear a comment from the government or President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding a way forward for the lockdown, causing frustration.
NATIONAL DISASTER STATE
On March 15, 2020, Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma under the Disaster Management Law declared the National Disaster State. That was five months ago and since we have been navigating different levels of lockdown.
The state of disaster was originally supposed to last three months until June 15, but the government felt the need to extend it two more times. Once until July 15 and then again until Saturday August 15.
At the expiration date, South Africans have no idea whether there will be a third extension and a move to Level 2 lockdown.
The rumor of the lifting of alcohol and smoking bans has also been silent. South Africans, at this point, are frustrated to say the least.
Dlamini-Zuma, who declared the national state of disaster, said there was a need to help and protect the public, to provide relief to the public, to protect property, to prevent or combat disruption and to cope with the other effects of the disaster.
EXTENSION? LOCK LEVEL 2?
At this point, the ruling party must scramble to come to a final decision. If there is one thing that is impossible, it is to try to predict the decision to be made. The country and its citizens have been too often surprised in the past.
At that point, Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma could extend the state of disaster for another month, with a level 2 move, or the lockdown could be lifted completely.
Level 2, at this point, appears to be the most likely decision, as scientists on the advisory board, as well as ministers, defended it, describing a decrease in infections, deaths and hospitalizations. However, we know better than to guess what will follow.
In the meantime, Democratic Alliance (AD) leader John Steenhuisen called on Ramaphosa to be the president that South Africans need by completely removing the lock.