The DA welcomes the announcement tonight by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the State of Disaster will be lifted tonight at midnight.
South Africa has suffered under this State of Disaster for 750 days – one of the longest in the world.
This has led to enormous hardship and devastation to our country’s economy and to people’s lives and livelihoods.
The DA has been calling for the end to the State of Disaster for several months, since experts in the Health field have started to advise that these restrictions were no longer necessary and scientifically not valid.
Yet, our government persisted and kept us in this state for much too long.
It is extremely worrying to us that, despite the formal lifting of this State of Disaster, our government now seems to be hell-bent on normalising the restrictions that we faced for so long by introducing regulations to the Health Act that will effectively normalise this very abnormal state of affairs and shift the power of unnatural regulations to the Minister of Health.
Today, we have written an open letter to the Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla, calling on him to retract these amendments as we believe that is it a transparent and opportunistic attempt to extend the unilateral power that the South African government afforded themselves during the State of Disaster.
We call on all South Africans to scrutinise these proposed amendments and to lodge their objection before or on the 16th of April.
We have suffered under these restrictions for 750 days. We cannot afford for it to be normalised.