Welcoming Alert Level 3 and opening of the construction sector to save jobs | Western Cape Government

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Welcoming Alert Level 3 and opening of the construction sector to save jobs

25 May 2020

We welcome the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa last night that the whole of South Africa will be moving to Alert Level 3 from 1 June 2020, and that all economic activity will resume except for certain sectors. 

We are particularly glad to hear that the construction sector will be allowed to resume activity under Alert Level 3 as this is critical to saving jobs and the economy in the Western Cape. This sector is already under enormous strain and an estimated 100,000 direct and indirect jobs could be lost due to the impact of Covid-19. And so, we will be working closely with the sector to help them implement the necessary health and safety measures on construction sites ahead of Alert Level 3.

More details on which sectors will not be allowed to open are likely to be confirmed with the release of the Alert Level 3 regulations by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. As we have with the Alert Level 4 regulations, and in particular for the e-commerce and construction sectors, where we think that further consideration can be made for these sectors to safely open we will make further submissions to national government to do so.

We remain concerned about the tourism sector which is a major contributor to jobs and the economy in the Western Cape, and at present is only looking likely to open under Alert Level 2. This sector has already been hard-hit and could cost the Western Cape around 104 504 direct and indirect jobs in 2020. And so, where we think there are opportunities for tourism to open up safely and responsibly under Alert Level 3 we will request that national government allow this. 

We firmly believe that if done responsibly, the economy in the Western Cape can open up while preventing the spread of Covid-19, and we are committed to supporting businesses through this crisis.

To avoid a return to a hard lockdown, it is imperative that every business that is operating now, or which opens under the new alert level, plays by the rules, and implements the necessary health and safety measures as instructed by national government to avoid further negative impacts on their respective sector.

It is just as important that every person returning to the workplace always adheres to the safety guidelines that are put in place by their employer, even when taking a break in a communal area. 

If any employee feels that their employer is not following the health guidelines in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, they can report it using this online form: coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-business-safety-complaint-form

Every employer and employee has a responsibility to ensure that our economy stays open in the Western Cape.

We all need to stay safe in order to save jobs.

We will all have to pull together, and we will all have to work together, in the coming days, and weeks, and months because, in the end, it is up to all of us to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the Western Cape.   

Media Enquiries: 

Francine Higham
Spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism)
Cell: 071 087 5150
Email: francine.higham@westerncape.gov.za