FROM THE beginning of May, South Africa will go from alert level 5 to level 4.
This was the address by President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa on Thursday evening.
The level phases range from 5 up to 1 depending on the impact the Covid-19 virus continues to have in the country, as it battles to ‘flatten the curve’ and easing on reopening of the economy.
Public transport such taxis, trains and busses will operate with a limited number of passengers, said Ramaphosa, who also cautioned they will have to wear face masks, including everyone.
Smokers got their wish and will now be able to purchase ‘white-sticks’ although under strict conditions, so will exercising outdoor. As for ‘forbidden-waters’ it still remains under lockdown.
The country’s borders will remain closed except for the repatriation of citizens, and the ban on travel between provinces still remains except for the transportation of goods and in some cases for funerals, continued the President.
As yet no mass gatherings on shebeens, concert venues, bars, cinemas, sporting events and religious gatherings shall take place.
Public transport will operate with a limited number of passengers but they will all have to wear face masks, said Ramaphosa.
Some of the businesses will also begin operating but only from 50% operation. South Africans will begin to move around provided not outside the province and the emphasis is on the elders and young-ones to be safe by staying home.
Various ministers will provide clarified details on easing of lockdown countrywide in days to come.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation this week lauded SA for efforts in slowing down the contagion. Officials from the world health body singled out government’s meticulously crafted approach to stay ahead of the disease’s spread.
United States of America has committed R250m to SA, according to Lana Marks- US Ambassador to SA.
On a lighter note- South Africans from all walks of life called for Fridays to be dedicated to encouraging and thanking the president for his efforts under the hashtag #CyrilFridays.
Over the last couple of weeks, Ramaphosa has taken some tough decisions to save thousands of lives by imposing a nationwide lockdown and announcing measures to offset the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses and individuals.
On the mask issue- we don’t know if the Pres had a panic attack or he generally struggled to put his face mask on because, it gave him a hard time. He ended up covering his eyes with the mask and became the laughing stock in his attempt of masking up.
Imagine trying to put it on and the elastic band just snaps and hit your hand, that pain is hectic right? That’s what the president felt on a live TV broadcast and as the cameras kept on rolling he struggled even more to do the right thing.
Knowing my fellow compatriots- they mocked Matamela. Yes, at times like these we need a bit of humour!
Image (The mask-face ‘that never was’ that took Pres Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa and all by surprise).