South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa expected to relax lockdown measures in tonight’s address

SOUTH Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Sunday evening on developments in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The address will take place before the extended alert level four lockdown expires at midnight.

Some sectors of South Africa’s economy, including the alcohol industry, are hoping that Ramaphosa will relax the regulations in a move aimed at boosting the country’s ailing economy.

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The National Liquor Council has called for Ramaphosa to lift the ban on the sale of alcohol when he addresses the nation.

Council spokesperson Lucky Ntimane says the latest ban on the sale of alcohol has been the harshest yet. He says they haven’t had any direct engagement with the government, despite numerous requests.

The South African Events Council and the Association of African Exhibition Organisers have forecast a bleak future for the events and entertainment industry after its forced closure 19 months ago. Spokesperson and Chairperson, Projeni Pather, says dozens of smaller businesses face closure because of the continuing lockdown.

Schools are set to reopen on Monday.

There is mounting pressure on the government to ease the current alert level 4 adjusted lockdown restrictions as the number of coronavirus infections in the third wave of the pandemic appear to be decreasing.

The current restrictions include a ban on the sale of alcohol and public gatherings.

The president’s address will be preceded by the meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on Sunday morning.

The NCCC will discuss the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although almost 70 thousand people have succumbed to the virus, the country is slowly but surely on track to roll out its vaccination programme.

So far 6 million South Africans have been vaccinated and the number is likely to rise as the country returns to normalcy after the unrest of two weeks ago.

Ramaphosa is also expected to provide an update on the vaccination roll-out and the relaxation of the lockdown regulations to allow more business to operate. SABC

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