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Ramaphosa ‘to make another address’ – as big changes to lockdown laws loom

President Cyril Ramaphosa is understood to be preparing another address to the nation 'imminently' - and some tough lockdown restrictions are on the cards.

That sinking feeling may be back sooner than many of us had hoped for. But, during a week where super-spreader events pushed South Africa into its second wave of COVID-19 infections, it seems a presidential intervention is on the horizon. Cyril Ramaphosa has been locked in discussions all weekend – and a lockdown-themed family address looms large.

 

NEW LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS FOR SOUTH AFRICA PROPOSED – WHAT MAY CHANGE?

Barely 10 days after Ramaphosa’s last address to the nation, things have gone south pretty quickly. Almost 8 000 new cases of coronavirus were registered on Saturday, as numbers reach a four-month high. It now looks like that the festive season will be blighted by additional regulations – some of which could prove to be highly controversial.

Longer curfew hours, earlier closures of taverns and restaurants, and tight restrictions on gatherings are all likely to be implemented in other disease hot-spots. Nelson Mandela Bay was the first place in South Africa to get localized lockdown rules, and it looks like several other regions will be slapped with similar law changes.

WHEN WILL CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ADDRESS THE NATION AGAIN?

It’s unlikely that a hard lockdown will be implemented nationally or locally. But one proposal suggests that some of the busiest beaches in the country could be closed to stop the spread of COVID-19. This would affect the Northern, Western, and Eastern Capes, as well as KwaZulu-Natal. So, when will Cyril drop the hammer on us?

 

Unverified reports claim that we could have a family meeting as early as Sunday evening. However, we are awaiting official confirmation of this from the presidency. But with leading officials from the Eastern Cape’s Sarah Baartman district pleading with the government to bring in tougher localised rules, it’s likely that Cyril will talk to us within the next few days.

WILL ALCOHOL SALES BE BANNED FOR A THIRD TIME?

The distribution and sales of alcohol could also be severely affected. In NMB, liquor stores can only trade for four days a week. It’s believed that this policy will be implemented in other hot-spots soon.

Booze industry experts are now rallying against the government to prevent a third national alcohol ban from taking place – something which has not been considered yet. But, as we learned at the height of the pandemic, you can expect the unexpected from our officials in the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC

By Tom Head – The South African

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