President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation today to provide an update on developments in South Africa’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of Covid-19.
Ramaphosa’s address is scheduled for 7 pm.
The president’s address follows recent meetings of Cabinet, the National Coronavirus Command Council and the President’s Coordinating Council, which considered the prospects for the country’s progression from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 of the national lockdown, the presidency said.
In recent days, President Ramaphosa has also held consultative meetings with the business, labour and community constituencies of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac); leaders of political parties; traditional leaders; the leadership of interfaith communities; the South African Council of Churches and the tourism industry, which is the single largest source of employment in the private sector.
The President revealed that he was under pressure to move the nation to level 2. It is however unclear if he would yield to that pressure when he takes the stage at 7 pm today.
When Ramaphosa addressed the nation on May 13 he announced government’s plans to ease the country’s lockdown restrictions to level 3 as well as the opening up of various sectors of commerce. He also announced a raft of social welfare measures to assist the neediest members of society. The majority of the intended beneficiaries have not yet received any of the promised relief amenities.
Sadly, smokers who had been hoping that the ban on sales of tobacco products would be lifted were disappointed when, contrary to Ramaphosa’s indications during his speech, Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma announced a few days later that the ban would remain in place.
The President’s address will be broadcast live on television and radio.