Premier Winde in response to the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa
Media release by Premier Alan Winde in response to the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Adjusted Alert Level 1
I welcome the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa, by way of a press statement last night, that there will be a return to full schooling for all grades in South Africa.
A continuation of a rotational timetable would have hurt our poorest communities the most, resulting in a generational catastrophe. We need our children in class for as long as possible, if we are to reverse the detrimental impact that the pandemic has had on their learning.
I am however concerned that there is still no clarity on the normalisation of our COVID-19 response, by ending the National State of Disaster.
In October last year, I called on the President to table a ‘road-map’ that would set out a clear process to end this very extreme measure.
Since then, our health data has made it clear that we have reached an ‘endemic’ stage, with significant immunity in our country. This means that we can respond through existing public health measures.
Understandably, normalising this response does require preparation - but one must ask why it is taking so long to do when this was first brought to the attention of the President 3 months ago.
It will be completely unacceptable to renew the declaration on 15 February 2022, when it is set to expire because the National Government is not yet ready.
The time has come for the President to make his plan to end the National State of Disaster public so that we can see exactly where we are in the process.