Premier Winde calls to end the National State of Disaster and save jobs
During the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) today, I called for the National State of Disaster to be lifted and a better COVID-19 management system to be implemented to reduce pressures placed on the economy and drive job creation.
There should not be a one size fits all approach to implementing restrictions which is why I also called for a differentiated approach. Restrictions should be implemented in line with each provincial healthcare system’s ability to cope. We have learnt how to manage waves and have the capacity to do so at a provincial level. I also submitted that this must now be thought through and put in place before the fourth wave.
We need to get the balance right in saving lives and livelihoods. Our healthcare platform is stable, and we have exited the peak of the third wave. As we approach the summer season, we will continue to monitor our healthcare platform’s response closely, continue to roll out the province’s vaccine programme, monitor COVID-19 workplace safety protocols and promote adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions.
We need to stop the haemorrhaging of jobs and we can safely do this as our healthcare system is stable. The recent Quarterly Labour Survey Results showed that between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2021, 254 000 people lost their jobs due to the implementation of the lockdown. This is deeply concerning, and we must address it by reopening our economy.
To further support the economy, we need to implement an electronic vaccination system to show whether residents had been vaccinated or conducted the necessary tests. This will ensure that international tourists can travel to South Africa and that South Africans can conduct business abroad.
I call on the National Government to look into digital alternatives to confirm vaccination status. This may include a cell phone application that could show whether citizens have been vaccinated and also record test results.
In ensuring that we further reopen the economy and drive job creation, the submission to the PCC made recommendations related to major indoor events, sporting events, conferences and conventions.
The cancellation of the World Cup Rugby 7s in Cape Town is just one example of why we need to reduce restrictions on major events. We need to allow spectators to visit our stadia and can safely do so by requiring proof of vaccination, alongside the necessary non-pharmaceutical interventions.
I call on the President to seriously consider these suggestions which are in the best interest of our residents and will ensure that we get the balance right in saving lives and livelihoods.