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President Cyril Ramaphosa and Patrick Soon-Shiong launched the NantSA facility in Cape Town on January 19 2022. Picture: GCIS: ELMOND JIYANE.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Patrick Soon-Shiong launched the NantSA facility in Cape Town on January 19 2022. Picture: GCIS: ELMOND JIYANE.

SA is reconsidering the national state of disaster as the rate of Covid-19 infections dip.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made the disclosure as he responded to media questions during the launch of the new NantSA facility — a vaccine manufacturing facility established by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong — in Brackenfell, Cape Town on Wednesday.

“We are on record as saying we are examining how best we should handle the state of disaster in this period when infections have dropped and the efficacy of using the legislation or other measures,” he said.

“The national coronavirus command council (NCCC) is examining that to see whether we can use health protocols, health regulations or whatever to move forward in our management of this pandemic.”

Ramaphosa said a number of people had challenged the government on the use of state of disaster legislation to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“Many have challenged, even in the courts, the use of the state of disaster. But I think since the disaster descended on our country, we have managed the process well using this instrument.

“There is a good argument to be put forward that now that we are where we are, should we not examine and look at other methods that we can use? We see this as a collective process.”

Ramaphosa said the NCCC was set to brief the cabinet on the issue.

“Because we are a free country, people have every right to advocate, whether it is the premier or not, for the dropping of the state of disaster.

“As government, we have to be rational in everything we do. So we are examining that and maybe you are one of the lucky ones and your desires will be fulfilled soon and the NCCC will recommend to the cabinet that we should do that,” Ramaphosa said.

“If not, we will have a rational explanation to say why we should continue with the state of disaster. So be patient — all things happen at the right time.”

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