The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes SA’s move to COVID-19 alert level 1 though the party believes that it came late. DA continues their call to end State of Disaster and the curfew to be lifted fully in response to pandemic.
The party said that they will call for a parliamentary debate and ad hoc committee to assess the government’s management of SA’s Covid-19 response.
This is according to a statement by DA leader John Steenhuisen, where he also stated that President Ramaphosa and the government must be held to account for the avoidable socioeconomic devastation which is the net impact of the lockdown.
This comes after Ramaphosa announced SA’s move to alert level 1 from Monday, 21 September. He also outlined the government’s response to Covid-19 pandemic effects on the country.
The statement continued: “Most of the economy should have been fully opened five months ago when the DA first called for it. It was already clear by mid-April that a severe, prolonged lockdown would have devastating socioeconomic consequences.”
The party believes that by mid-April a lockdown was not a luxury SA can afford and the most vulnerable households of the country would not physically adhere to the lockdown restrictions.
“The government had amply proved by then that it did not have the capacity to bridge struggling households and businesses over even the 3-week lockdown, let alone a 6-month lockdown – nor even feed hungry schoolchildren.”
Furthermore, Steenhuisen said on the statement that a lockdown was an unaffordable way to buy time to prepare the healthcare system.
“Many eminently qualified people from a variety of disciplines called for an end to lockdown months ago, including vaccinology professors Shabir Mahdi and Glenda Gray, who are on the government’s own ministerial advisory committee.”
DA believes that the government can only rescue the economy at this stage by implementing wide-ranging pro-growth economic reforms to curb a pandemic much more deadly than Covid-19 which is poverty.
By Bongekile Khumalo