Government's state of disaster extended by another month.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has extended South Africa’s national state of disaster by a further month.
The state of disaster is now set to expire on 15 November 2021. Dlamini-Zuma said that the extension takes into account the need to augment the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by the organs of state to address the impact of the disaster.
While the national state of disaster was initially set to lapse on 15 June 2020, the act provides that it can be extended by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister by notice in the gazette for one month at a time before it lapses.
The government has relied on the regulations to introduce and give effect to lockdown restrictions, which it has used to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, it has also faced criticism for giving national government wide-ranging powers over the lives of citizens, with few limits and little to no oversight from parliament.
Western Cape premier Alan Winde is the latest person to call for the state of disaster’s end, requesting a consultation with president Cyril Ramaphosa and other provinces before any extension on the declaration of the national state of disaster is promulgated.
"During this consultation, I have also asked for transparency on the national government’s proposed roadmap out of the national state of disaster, which has not yet been made public or shared with provinces, despite the significant impact that the continued declaration has on the provincial economy and our constitutional powers," Winde said.
"It is only fair on our residents, and especially our job-creating businesses, that this clarity is provided. We cannot be in a state of disaster forever, and we need to have a clear plan for its termination. This will provide much-needed confidence to the economy, which remains under great pressure."