Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma: “We Want To Save Lives”

Dlamini-Zuma said that government was not acting as a law unto itself: “There is nothing that we’re doing which is authoritarian. We are following the law that was passed by our very same Parliament.”

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma: "We Want To Save Lives"-SurgeZirc SA
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma/Photo File: Sowetan

Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has defended government’s response to COVID-19, saying that restrictions were not picked arbitrarily but were intended to save lives.

Dlamini-Zuma, who on Tuesday gave clarity on amendments to the level three restrictions, said that it was difficult to ascertain how long South Africa would be under a state of disaster.

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She said that the law allowed for it to be extended every month but that it would depend on the rate of coronavirus transmissions and state of hospitals. Dlamini-Zuma has, like some of her peers and President Cyril Ramaphosa, defended the restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Dlamini-Zuma said that government was not acting as a law unto itself: “There is nothing that we’re doing which is authoritarian. We are following the law that was passed by our very same Parliament.”

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Government has often received criticism, with some questioning the curfew beach closures and restrictions on the sale of booze. But the minister argues that there is a legitimate reason behind every measure put in place.

“As long as we understand that these regulations are to protect lives; they are not arbitrarily put there, they are there to protect lives, they are there because the infections in South Africa is very high.”

She said the rate of transmission, state of hospitals and the mortality rate would guide government on the next course of action.

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