On May 13, South African President Ramafosa delivered a speech and sent the strongest signal since the outbreak that the government is considering further reducing the ban on the new crown virus. The president said that restrictions on some morning activities would be reduced in the next few days, and proposed that most parts of South Africa should be reduced from level 4 to level 3 by the end of May, but would also be treated in different levels according to the situation of the epidemic.
At present, the South African Government has a blockade level of level 4 and retains most of the blockade rules of the level 5 blockade, but allows for the gradual liberalization of certain economic activities. The South African president's speech said bluntly that it was preparing for economic relaxation and targeted a steady increase in economic activity, which had previously been aimed at curbing the spread of the epidemic. Data show that the impact of the prolonged epidemic could reduce South Africa's economic growth by nearly 17 per cent, and more than 4 million people in the formal and informal sectors remain unemployed despite the government's stimulus package.
If the blockade level in South Africa is lowered to level 3 in June, the local transport industry will be liberalized again, and the number of manganese, chromium ore transport (inland and cross-border), ports and shipments in South Africa will continue to recover, and shipments from other countries' resources to South African ports will also continue to increase, which means that South Africa's local policies will tie in with China's considerable profits, and the export volume of non-mainstream mineral resources to China is likely to increase again.
Statement by the President original: On the first of May, we moved to Alert Level 4 and began the phased easing of the national lockdown.
This was in line with our risk-adjusted strategy through which we sought to slow down the rate of infection and flatten the curve.
We are now preparing for a further easing of the lockdown and a gradual opening of the economy.
I will repeat what I have said before: if we lift the lockdown too abruptly and too quickly, we risk a rapid and unmanageable surge in infections.
We will therefore continue to proceed cautiously, informed by the best available evidence and guided by the advice of local and international experts.
Our goal is to steadily increase economic activity while putting measures in place to reduce the transmission of the virus and provide adequate care for those who become infected and need treatment.
When I last addressed you, I outlined the five level alert system that we have introduced to guide this process.
At the time, the country was at alert level 5, which has the most stringent restrictions on movement and economic activity.
Alert level 4-which is the current level across the country-retains most of the lockdown regulations but permits the gradual opening up of certain parts of the economy. Alert levels 3 to 1 allow a progressively greater relaxation of restrictions.
As I indicated then, some areas of the country may be designated at a particular alert level, while others may be designated at other levels.
This would be done according to the rate of infection in an area and the state of readiness and the capacity of its health facilities to cope with treating infected people.
For now, infections are mostly concentrated in a few metropolitan municipalities and districts in the country.
It is important that we maintain stringent restrictions in these areas and restrict travel out of these areas to parts of the country with lower rates of infection.
We will immediately begin a process of consultation with relevant stakeholders on a proposal that by the end of May, most of the country be placed on alert level 3, but that those parts of the country with the highest rates of infection remain on level 4.
We will make further announcements after the completion of the consultations
In the coming days, we will also be announcing certain changes to level 4 regulations to expand permitted business activities in the retail space and ecommerce and reduce restrictions on exercise.
Some have questioned whether our approach in dealing with the coronavirus has been at the expense of the livelihoods of our people.
Our strategic approach has been based on saving lives and preserving livelihoods.
Our key objective has always been to slow down the infection rate through a number of interventions in our coronavirus prevention toolbox.
Each of these prevention measures are crucial and non-negotiable. They are:
It is in the implementation of all these preventative measures that we will overcome this disease.