Democratic Alliance (DA) placed an alternative proposal under a hard lockdown, as SA is heading towards an economic depression, to supplement government’s coronavirus response effort.
DA Interim Leader John Steenhuisen said, SA may have to contain the coronavirus right up until a vaccine is widely available in 18-24 months’ time.
The party’s policy team has proposed a phased strategy and moving between different stages of restriction.
“It would be imprudent to call for a complete easing of all restrictions relating to the current lockdown, as it would likely risk a sudden spike in infections,” said Party Leader
He said that at the same time, continued hard lockdown conditions will increase the number of unemployed citizens, and close businesses which will not be in a position to reopen after the crisis.
The party’s proposal is for a lockdown similar to an Eskom load-shedding grid, which provides different stages of lockdown in response to the data on new daily infections and hospital capacity
The four stages of lockdown would be:
Level 4 — hard lockdown (Current lockdown restrictions.) Level 3 “All primary and secondary sectors can be opened, where PPE can be provided for workers and social distancing measures adhered to.”
“All economic activity in the primary sector (agriculture, mining) to operate as per normal or as per sectoral agreements (such as the mining sector agreement of April 9). Tradesmen (plumbers, electricians) may also operate. Informal traders with permits and trading in designated trading areas may operate.”
“Some who work in these sectors may not be able to return to work due to childcare and schools remaining closed. Opening up of sectors like textiles and manufacturing will enable them to help contribute to the availability of much-needed equipment.”
“Workers who can work from home, even in these sectors, should still be encouraged to do so. The intention is to still keep numbers of people out in public spaces to a minimum. Places of entertainment, leisure & lifestyle activities to remain closed. Restaurants may open but may only fulfill delivery and collection orders.”
“Those who work in the tertiary sectors are to remain at home. While all retail stores will now be open, encourage home delivery of essential and non-essential goods. Stores to practise adequate hygiene and social distancing.”
“Movement between provinces of goods, other domestic travel remains restricted. Social gatherings not permitted. Masks mandatory in all public areas. Quarantine / isolation of high-risk people is highly recommended.”
Stage 2 “All businesses to open subject to availability of PPE for employees and strict physical distancing measures adhered to. Restriction of opening hours for restaurants and bars. All public institutions to open. Encourage physical distancing at schools for example Teachers to ensure breaks at desks situated appropriate distance apart instead of playground.”
“Open up social gatherings of <100 where strict distancing measures will be adhered to. Permit movement between provinces, including domestic air travel. Flights to low-risk countries. Ability to seek non-chronic and non-emergency medical care. Virtual consultations encouraged. Masks mandatory in all public areas. Quarantine / isolation of high-risk people is recommended.”
Stage 1 “All travel except to and from high-risk countries. In-bound travellers must be tested and isolated if necessary. Public gatherings of 500 subject to use of PPE and adherence to social distancing. Mechanism to request permission for larger gatherings. Masks mandatory in all public areas. Quarantine / isolation of high-risk people is recommended.”