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Last night, a weary-looking President Cyril Ramaphosa announced several major concessions that will take effect from next week as SA shifts to a level 3 lockdown. However, the de-escalation came as the country announced a record rise in infections – 1,240 new confirmed cases – attesting to the delicate balancing act Ramaphosa faces in reopening the economy.

Ramaphosa isn’t oblivious to this: he pointed out that one-third of the cumulative cases, the number of which has risen to 22,583, took place in the past week, while there have now been 429 deaths. The Western Cape accounted for 65% of both infections and deaths...

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