Premier Alan Winde in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s National Address
Media release by Premier Alan Winde in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s National Address
The relaxation of some restrictions on the economy, especially on the tourism, hospitality and events sector, is a welcome step in the right direction, that will no doubt provide much-needed relief to many job-creating businesses in the Western Cape.
This should have happened some time ago, however. There is a clear lesson from this, and that is the National Government needs to move faster. Too many jobs have been lost over the last two years to excuse this pace.
I also do worry that there was still no hard commitment by the President to end the National State of Disaster on 15 April. The removal of some restrictions on the economy should not be viewed as a license to dither yet again. The State of Disaster is an extraordinary measure that cannot be extended indefinitely.
The Western Cape Government is closely studying the proposed health regulations that will be introduced under existing public health legislation, as mentioned by the President. We will push back hard against any measures that hurt the provincial economy, and which are not clearly rooted in the best possible scientific advice, factoring in all recent evidence. It cannot be allowed to be a back door to sneak unnecessary disaster regulations back again.
Now that large events can return, we will be working with our partners to get this industry ‘up and running’ as soon as possible, including big sporting matches. We are determined to not waste another day to get the events sector growing again.
Finally, I agree with the President that as we take steps to normalise our country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater level of personal responsibility required of us all: and that is to ensure that we all use the lessons that we have learnt over the last two years to save lives by following the golden rules of hygiene and by thinking of those around you, especially those who are at high risk. Vaccination is also strongly encouraged as it has been shown to save lives.