Saturday, 09 January 2021 18:43

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Photo Credit: GCIS.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday hinted that he will address the nation soon as new cases of Covid-19 continue to soar despite stricter level 3 regulations announced late last year.

There has been speculation that government would have to impose stricter Covid-19 lockdown measures. This amid a spike in Covid-19 infections in South Africa.

Ramaphosa was non-committal about when the next announcement would be made, but said processes were underway to discuss current lockdown restrictions.

Government structures are in meetings to consider whether to implement a harsher Covid-19 lockdown, but Ramaphosa is non-committal for now on whether more restrictions are imminent.

In an interview with the SABC on saturday morning, Ramaphosa said: "We are concerned about the continuing spike in infections."

For the past three days, new positive Covid-19 cases have been above 20,000 and deaths have also increased.

The lockdown, which started in March, was implemented to protect the health system, he said. Our health system is robust. It did withstand the infections that we experienced then. And now it’s the second wave and we have a different variant, and that basically means that South Africans must join in complying with current lockdown regulations.

Ramaphosa said the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) had met this week and meetings with the provinces will follow on Sunday.

This will be followed by a Cabinet meeting where ministers will look at the recommendations of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) and the Department of Health.

"It is then we will be able to make a determination and announce it to the nation."

After the announcement of the meeting of the NCCC on Wednesday this week, there has been growing public fear of stricter regulations, with public commentators even hinting at alert level 5.

However the ANC and its alliance partners, after a meeting this week, have opposed a move to level 5, which will effectively close down the economy.

It is unclear what new regulations Ramaphosa will announce after this weekend's meeting.