DA calls for mask mandate in schools to be lifted

Issued by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP – DA Shadow Minister of Basic Education
06 May 2022 in News

Please find attached soundbite by Baxolile ‘Bax’ Nodada MP.

The DA calls on the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, to lift the regulation that masks should be worn in schools, and to Gazette it as a matter of urgency.

The DA has long called for this irrational regulation to be scrapped as several South African health experts have repeatedly explained that the risks of the mandate to learners outweigh any possible benefits.

After the regulations were Gazetted earlier this week, Wits University Professor of Vaccinology Shabir Mahdi once again highlighted the risks of the mandate to learners and the irrationality of the Covid-regulations in general. He said, “SA remains on its unique mission of rehashing regulations which have unsurprisingly failed to prevent spread of the virus in SA context.” Many countries across the globe have scrapped most of their Covid-regulations as new variants seem to be less infectious.

Prof Madhi have also previously stated mask mandates in South Africa have failed to make a significant impact on deterring the spread of Covid-19.

If the ANC government wishes to continue its exercise in irrational regulations, it must provide Parliament and the public of South Africa with the scientific evidence on which the decisions regarding regulations are made.

A position paper from the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Covid-19 dated 8 February 2022, stated that “substantial population-level immunity that has been built up through a combination of prior infection and vaccination”, and that “by the end of August 2021, 62% of individuals had experienced at least 1 SARS-CoV-2 infection”.

Data has also shown that children have a much lower risk of severe disease, and that the psychological impact of wearing masks could be more harmful.

It is becoming clearer every day that for the ANC government, Covid-19 regulations are simply a means to an end – the retention of dwindling power. They are trying to sneak the powers of a State of Disaster into the National Health Act without due consideration or care of the harm to Constitutional rights. The DA will not stand for this, and will continue to put the health and rights of South Africans first. We will not waiver in our fight to stop the amendment of the National Health Act.