PETER BRUCE: Fatuous rules will kill legitimacy of the Covid-19 war
President Cyril Ramaphosa must be careful about what balls he chooses to juggle
The quicker the government eases its Covid-19 lockdown rules the more strictly it is going to have to enforce them. From the moment on Friday when 1.5-million South Africans get to go back to work, the new rules might allow them to buy smokes again (we won’t know until the last minute because there’s a fight about it in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet), but there’ll suddenly be an extra 70,000 soldiers on the streets and an all-night curfew to enforce isolation, social distancing and obedience in general.
Freak out if you must, but any rational leader would do more or less the same in our situation. And, of course, the moment the economy begins to work again, the number of infections will rise, no matter how many police and soldiers, nor how many precautions we may take. Someone should tell Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who has threatened the return of level 5 lockdown as a sort of punishment if infections do rise in level 4.