EDITORIAL: Lifting the national state of disaster may well be premature
It would be dangerous to regard the pandemic as over, especially when taking our relatively low vaccination rate into account
The fourth wave of Omicron is about to be history and it has inflicted less pain that previous waves, much to our relief. The question now is where to from here. Has Covid-19 attained the status of being endemic — meaning we can treat it like other diseases that float around at controlled, predictable levels — which would make the national state of disaster unnecessary?
Experience shows that people were right to be sceptical about politicians taking on more powers to deal with an emergency situation. As a constitutional democracy, SA should be governed by laws put together by the people’s representatives in parliament and not be ruled by decrees from a National Coronavirus Command Council, a name that harks back to the Soviet era. We can therefore sympathise with the view that President Cyril Ramaphosa should simply let the state of disaster, which has to be renewed each month in terms of the Disaster Management Act, lapse on Saturday...