Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says it is difficult to give certainty on how long Covid-19 lockdown regulations will last.

“These regulations, they are there because of what is happening with the infections. The infection is high, the president did say that some of these regulations will be reviewed when we have passed the peak and the numbers have dropped sufficiently to allow us to remove these regulations.

“If we were to say we give certainty and give a date that these regulations will not apply, what if the infections have not dropped sufficiently to allow that,” she said during a question and answer session following a virtual briefing on Tuesday.

Dlamini-Zuma was responding to a question with regard to how long regulations will last.

The minister led a virtual media briefing on the Covid-19 restrictions, regulations and enforcement following an address by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday evening that the adjusted Level 3 lockdown will remain in place.

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The country has reported a higher number of new cases and deaths during the second wave.

Ramaphosa, in his address on Monday evening, noted that, since New Year’s Day, South Africa recorded “nearly 190 000 new Covid-19 infections and more than 4 600 Covid-19 deaths so far this year”.

Dlamini-Zuma reiterated that the regulations were in place to protect and save lives.

“So I think that, as long as we understand that these regulations are there to protect lives, they are not arbitrary, they are there because the infection in SA is very high. We are getting figures of more than 20 000 a day.”

She gave an example that, when the country moved to Level 1 of the lockdown, there were some days where there were less than 1 000 cases a day, but now we are faced with some days where the country has seen more than 20 000 new cases a day.

As a result of this, it was very difficult to give certainty over something they could not control, said Dlamini-Zuma.

She said that the law only allows for the National State of Disaster to be extended monthly.

“We don’t know. It will depend on what the infection is doing, the state of our hospitals, the number of people dying and all those things, so it is not possible to give certainty and say on such and such a day the regulations will be gone,” she concluded.

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