President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Gallo Images /Jeffrey Abrahams
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Gallo Images /Jeffrey Abrahams

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation next week and will provide an assessment of where the country is with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions required to control it.

The address will follow a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council and a meeting of the cabinet, which will consider a report of the council.

The current state of disaster runs until November 15 and Ramaphosa's address will probably include an announcement of whether it will be extended or not based on the views of the council.

SA is now at level 1 of the risk adjusted strategy for dealing with the pandemic with most businesses allowed to operate though international tourist travel from high risk countries is restricted and there are also restrictions on public gatherings such as funerals.

Minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu told journalists during a post-cabinet media briefing on Thursday that the cabinet had not discussed Covid-19 control measures at its meeting on Wednesday as it awaited the report of the national coronavirus command council next week.

Mthembu said the cabinet was concerned that some people were behaving “recklessly and irresponsibly” as if Covid-19 no longer existed. It called on all South Africans to continue adhering to health protocols such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and washing hands. Doing this would limit the spread of the virus, he said.

“Such consistent considerate behaviour remains the greatest defence in protecting ourselves and others against the virus. Our responsible actions will ensure we minimise the rates of infections while we continue to rebuild our economy,” Mthembu said.

While cabinet did not discuss the national coronavirus command council's decision not to extend the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) beyond the September 15 termination, Mthembu said the government would be sticking to its timeline without any deviation.

Mthembu said the government would hold its third investment conference virtually on November 17 and 18 focusing on investment in the wake of Covid-19. The last two conferences raised R664bn.  

“This year’s conference focuses on the delivery of existing commitments to realise job creation and economic development. In addition, government will highlight actions taken to foster a conducive investment environment, with a focus on economic reconstruction and recovery,” Mthembu said.

ensorl@businesslive.co.za 

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