FULL SPEECH: Ramaphosa extends Covid-19 lockdown by 14 days, takes pay cut

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FULL SPEECH: Ramaphosa extends Covid-19 lockdown by 14 days, takes pay cut

South Africa – Pretoria – 21 July 2019 – President Cyril Ramaphosa briefs the media on the Public Protector’s report on the allegations that he violated the Executive Ethics Code on the Union Buildings.
Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has requested the nation to endure one other two weeks of significant restrictions to liberty, in the reason for life.

The president stated there have been 1,934 circumstances of Covid-19 in South Africa on Thursday and the lockdown had slowed down the speed of enhance, which he stated “does signify actual progress”.

Ramaphosa stated that if authorities ended the lockdown too quickly, the progress gained can be misplaced. He referred to as on South Africans to be keen to endure one other 14 days.

“This signifies that many of the current lockdown measures will stay in drive till the tip of April.

“We will use the approaching days to guage how we’ll embark on risk-adjusted measures that may allow a phased restoration of the financial system, permitting the return to operation of sure sectors beneath strictly managed situations.”

The president stated that he, the deputy president, ministers, deputy ministers and premiers had stated they might take a one-third pay cut over the subsequent three months as a donation to the Solidarity Fund.

“You have understood that we should do all the things in our energy to forestall the large lack of life that may happen if we didn’t act. For your cooperation, on your dedication and above all on your endurance, I want to thanks personally.”

He referred to as on the nation to make an excellent better sacrifice to save lots of hundreds of lives, although he acknowledged the hurt that was taking place within the financial system.

The president stated the coronavirus disaster had worsened over the previous two weeks, significantly worldwide, with well being programs “overwhelmed”.

“Two weeks in the past, there have been 340,000 confirmed coronavirus circumstances on the earth. We now have over 1.5 million confirmed circumstances worldwide. Over 90,000 individuals the world over have died from this illness.”

He stated the choice to institute the lockdown had been “appropriate and well timed” and “there may be ample proof to point out that the lockdown is working”.

The common each day enhance of infections had dropped to only 4% due to the lockdown. 

“We are solely firstly of a monumental wrestle that calls for our each useful resource and our each effort. We can’t loosen up. We can’t be complacent.

“The measures we now have taken – akin to closing our borders and prohibiting gatherings – and the modifications that we now have every needed to make in our personal behaviour, have undoubtedly slowed the unfold. But the wrestle in opposition to the coronavirus is way from over.”

Ramaphosa stated that within the coming weeks and months, “we should massively enhance the extent of our response and increase the attain of our interventions”.

The president’s handle adopted a gathering of the National Coronavirus Command Council held yesterday, 8 April 2020 and consultations that the president held through the course of the day with varied social companions through the course of the day.

You can learn his full speech beneath:

At midnight tonight, it is going to be precisely two weeks since our nation entered into an unprecedented nation-wide lockdown to comprise the unfold of the coronavirus.

During the course of those final two weeks, your lives have been severely disrupted, you could have suffered nice hardship and endured a lot uncertainty.

We have closed our borders to the world, our kids usually are not at school, companies have closed their operations, many have misplaced their revenue, and our financial system has floor to a halt.

And but, confronted with such daunting challenges, you, the individuals of South Africa, have responded with outstanding endurance and braveness.

You have revered the lockdown and largely noticed the laws.

You have accepted the extreme restrictions in your motion and lots of the each day freedoms that all of us take without any consideration.

You have completed so as a result of you could have understood the devastating impact that this illness may have on the well being and well-being of all South Africans except we take drastic measures.

You have additionally understood that we should do all the things in our energy to forestall the large lack of life that may happen if we didn’t act.

For your cooperation, on your dedication and above all on your endurance, I want to thanks personally.
I want to thanks for reaffirming to one another and to the world that we South Africans are a individuals who come collectively and unite at moments of nice disaster.

Earlier immediately I had a best assembly with our Premiers concerning the work they’re doing in provinces and districts to cease the unfold of the virus.

I additionally had a dialogue with the leaders of all our political events represented in Parliament, who collectively pledged their help for the efforts which can be being made to fight the pandemic.

Through this we’re demonstrating that we’re capable of work collectively throughout get together traces to confront a typical menace.

Since I introduced the lockdown simply over two weeks in the past, the worldwide coronavirus pandemic has worsened.

Two weeks in the past, there have been 340,000 confirmed coronavirus circumstances on the earth.

We now have over 1.5 million confirmed circumstances worldwide.

Over 90,000 individuals the world over have died from this illness.

The well being programs of many nations have been overwhelmed.

Even essentially the most developed economies on the earth haven’t had the means to deal with the various hundreds who’ve fallen in poor health.

They have struggled to seek out the medical provides and personnel essential to take care of the pandemic.

The devastating impact of that is that many individuals have died.

The world proof is overwhelming.

It confirms that our resolution to declare a nationwide state of catastrophe and to institute a nation-wide lockdown was appropriate and it was well timed.

While it’s too early to make a definitive evaluation of the development of the illness in South Africa, there may be ample proof to point out that the lockdown is working.

Since the lockdown got here into impact, the speed at which new circumstances have been recognized right here in South Africa has slowed considerably.

From 1,170 confirmed circumstances on the 27th of March, the variety of confirmed circumstances immediately stands at 1,934.

In the 2 weeks earlier than the lockdown, the typical each day enhance in new circumstances was round 42%.

Since the beginning of the lockdown, the typical each day enhance has been round 4%.

While we recognise the necessity to increase testing to realize a greater image of the an infection fee, this represents actual progress.

The measures we now have taken – akin to closing our borders and prohibiting gatherings – in addition to the modifications that we now have every needed to make in our personal behaviour, have undoubtedly slowed the unfold of the virus.

But the wrestle in opposition to the coronavirus is way from over.

We are solely firstly of a monumental wrestle that calls for our each useful resource and our each effort.

We can’t loosen up. We can’t be complacent.

In the approaching weeks and months, we should massively enhance the extent of our response and increase the attain of our interventions.

We are studying each from the experiences of different nations and from the proof we now have concerning the improvement of the pandemic in South Africa.

Both make a transparent and compelling case to proceed in a fashion that’s cautious and correctly calibrated.

Simply put, if we finish the lockdown too quickly or too abruptly, we danger a large and uncontrollable resurgence of the illness.

We danger reversing the positive aspects we now have remodeled the previous couple of weeks, and rendering meaningless the good sacrifices we now have all made.

Fellow South Africans,

This night, I stand earlier than you to ask you to endure even longer.

I’ve to ask you to make even better sacrifices in order that our nation might survive this disaster and in order that tens of hundreds of lives could also be saved.

After cautious consideration of the obtainable proof, the National Coronavirus Command Council has determined to increase the nation-wide lockdown by an additional two weeks past the preliminary 21 days.

This signifies that many of the current lockdown measures will stay in drive till the tip of April.

We will use the approaching days to guage how we’ll embark on risk-adjusted measures that may allow a phased restoration of the financial system, permitting the return to operation of sure sectors beneath strictly managed situations.

We may also use this time to ramp up our public well being interventions.

We didn’t take this resolution to increase the lockdown evenly.

As your President, I’m aware of the good and heavy burden this may impose on you.

I’m keenly conscious of the impression this may have on our financial system.

But I do know, as you do, that except we take these troublesome measures now, except we maintain to this course for just a little longer, the coronavirus pandemic will engulf, and finally devour, our nation.

We all need the financial system to come back again to life, we would like individuals to return to work, we would like our kids to return to high school, and all of us need to have the ability to transfer freely once more.

But our quick precedence should stay to decelerate the unfold of the virus and to forestall a large lack of life.

We should do that whereas stopping our financial system from collapsing and saving our individuals from starvation.

We are decided to pursue a path that each saves lives and protects livelihoods.

Our technique is made up of three elements:

– Firstly, an intensified public well being response to decelerate and scale back infections.

– Secondly, a complete bundle of financial help measures to help companies and people affected by the pandemic.

– Thirdly, a programme of elevated social help to guard poor and susceptible households.

As authorities, along with our many companions, we now have used this lockdown interval to each refine and intensify our public well being technique to handle the coronavirus.

Our method is to display in communities and take a look at individuals in hospitals, clinics and cellular clinics, to isolate those that are contaminated, and to care for individuals who are in poor health in our well being services.

We want to do that intensively and systematically.

We have used the final week to develop our screening and testing methodology in varied elements of the nation.

Over the subsequent two weeks, we’ll roll out the group screening and testing programme throughout all provinces, focusing specifically on extremely susceptible communities.

Those who take a look at constructive and can’t self-isolate at dwelling can be remoted at particular services which have been recognized and at the moment are being geared up.

At all instances, we’ll observe the human rights of all individuals.

Let us not discriminate in opposition to individuals who take a look at constructive.

To be sure that our methods are successfully coordinated and to make sure they’re knowledgeable by complete, real-time knowledge, we now have established the COVID-19 Information Centre on the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

This world-class centre will maintain monitor of all screening, testing, isolation and hospitalisation all through the nation.

It is already figuring out an infection hotspots.

It is following the unfold and the severity of the illness, and enabling us to maneuver our focus and sources the place they’re most wanted.

We are working with cellular telephony firms and different establishments to find these individuals who have examined constructive for the virus and people with whom they’ve been in touch.

As a part of the second component of our technique, we now have put in place varied measures to offer help to companies in misery, to staff dealing with lack of revenue, to the self-employed and to casual companies.

Many of those measures are being taken up by each giant and small companies.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund has put aside R40 billion to assist workers who can be unable to work, as a part of the trouble to forestall jobs losses because of the lockdown.

To date, it has paid out R356 million.

I want to applaud all these employers who’ve continued to pay their staff throughout this troublesome time, in addition to these employers who’re working with unions and authorities to help their workers to entry these advantages.

I want to name on all companies to proceed to pay their suppliers, to the extent that they’ll, to make sure that these suppliers can even proceed to function and pay their employees and suppliers.

In this respect, I want to enchantment to all giant companies to not resort to drive majeure and cease paying their suppliers and rental commitments, as such follow has a domino impact on all different companies depending on that chain.

We should do all we will to make sure that the underlying financial system continues to operate and to focus help on these small companies that basically want them.

The Industrial Development Corporation has put aside R3 billion for the procurement of important medical provides.

It has already permitted R130 million in funding and expects to approve an additional R400 million within the coming week to firms who utilized for funding beneath this particular facility.

The Small Enterprise Finance Agency has permitted the postponement of mortgage repayments for a interval of 6 months.

The small enterprise debt aid and enterprise progress services are at present adjudicating functions for help.

There is a complete of R500 million obtainable in help.

Government has reprioritised R1.2 billion to offer aid to smallholder farmers and to contribute to the safety of meals provide.

In addition to those expenditure measures, the Reserve Bank has additionally lowered rates of interest and has taken measures to inject liquidity into the financial system.

One of the most important challenges that every one nations on the earth are dealing with is the scarcity of medical provides to combat the coronavirus.

As a rustic we now have needed to depend on our personal capabilities to provide these items, however have additionally needed to supply provides from different nations.

In latest weeks, we now have seen a large mobilisation of South African enterprise, labour, lecturers and authorities businesses to construct the shares of medical and different gear wanted to combat coronavirus.

We have, for instance, established the National Ventilator Project to quickly mobilise the technical and industrial sources of our nation to fabricate non-invasive ventilators, which can be utilized to help sufferers bothered with the illness.

Other tasks are specializing in growing the native manufacture of protecting face masks, hand sanitisers and pharmaceutical merchandise which can be utilized by well being care staff and the general public at giant.

As the third a part of our coronavirus response, we now have been working to offer primary wants akin to water and to keep up the reliability of meals provide to the poorest South Africans.

We have additionally expanded the supply of meals parcels and we’ve offered spaza retailers with monetary help.

To date, authorities has delivered over 11,000 water storage tanks to communities in want throughout the nation, and plenty of of those have been put in.

In addition, 1,000 water tankers have been offered for the supply of water.

Several homeless individuals have been accommodated in 154 shelters.

I’m happy to report that the Solidarity Fund – which was established to mobilise sources from firms, organisations and people to fight the coronavirus pandemic – has to this point raised round R2.2 billion.

It has already allotted round R1 billion to purchase sterile gloves, face shields, surgical masks, take a look at kits and ventilators.

It may also allocate funds for humanitarian aid to susceptible households, along with the R400 million put aside by authorities for Social Relief of Distress grants.

All of those efforts, whereas essential and commendable, is not going to be ample on their very own to cushion the poor from the impression of this pandemic.

Nor will they supply the aid that companies and their workers require.

Additional extraordinary measures will should be put in place within the coming weeks and months to soak up the sudden lack of revenue to each companies and people.

We are in a state of affairs that calls for swift motion and distinctive strategies, a state of affairs that calls for innovation and the mobilisation of each useful resource that we now have.

Cabinet can be creating a complete bundle of pressing financial measures to reply each to the quick disaster and to the extreme financial challenges that we should confront within the months forward.

Further bulletins on the subsequent section of our financial and social help technique can be made sooner or later.

An important a part of our response to this emergency is the precept of solidarity.

From throughout society, firms and people have come ahead to offer monetary and different help.

In help of this effort, we now have determined that the President, Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers will every take a one-third cut of their salaries for the subsequent three months.

This portion of their salaries can be donated to the Solidarity Fund.

We are calling on different public workplace bearers and executives of enormous firms to make an analogous gesture and to additional enhance the attain of this nationwide effort.

In this regard, we welcome the donation of 20,000 cellphones by Vodacom for well being staff that can be concerned in screening and tracing in communities.

As we now have burdened earlier than and we’ll stress as soon as once more, our wrestle in opposition to the coronavirus requires basic modifications in behaviour from all of us.

Until we now have contained the coronavirus, the identical guidelines stay.

Shaking fingers, hugging, sitting shut to one another and different types of bodily contact allow this virus to be transmitted, and should be prevented.

We should proceed to clean our fingers repeatedly and totally utilizing water and cleaning soap or sanitiser.

To keep secure and to maintain others secure we should proceed to respect no matter restrictions which can be positioned on our motion and on our each day lives

Over the previous two weeks, I’ve been chatting with different African leaders a few coordinated continental effort to fight the coronavirus and help our individuals and our economies.

We have established an AU COVID-19 Response Fund to mobilise the sources essential to help this effort.

We have reached out to world leaders, at the same time as they wrestle with the pandemic of their nations, to help the continent with important medical provides and to help a complete stimulus bundle for Africa.

As we confront this illness in our nation, we’re a part of an excellent world effort that’s bringing humanity collectively in ways in which many by no means thought potential.

For billions the world over, and for us right here in South Africa, the coronavirus pandemic has modified all the things.

We can now not work in the way in which we now have earlier than.

As authorities, as NGOs, as political events, as giant firms and small companies, as monetary establishments, as group organisations and as South Africans we might want to adapt to a brand new actuality.

As we emerge from this disaster, our nation might want to bear a means of basic reconstruction.

To accomplish that, we’ll draw on our strengths: our plentiful pure sources, our superior infrastructure, our deep monetary markets, our confirmed capabilities in data and communication expertise, and the depth of expertise amongst our individuals.

We will draw on our confirmed capability for innovation and creativity, our capability to come back collectively in a disaster, and our dedication to one another and our widespread future.

We will be taught from world expertise and the perfect scientific proof, however we’ll craft a uniquely South African response that makes use of our personal capabilities as a nation.

This weekend is a sacred time for a lot of South Africans.

For many, it is going to be troublesome to spend this time with out their family and friends.

I ask that you just maintain in your ideas tonight all in our land who’re susceptible, destitute and alone.

I ask that you just give what you may to alleviate their burden.

To contribute to the Solidarity Fund in any method you may.

This is a troublesome time for us all.

Yet the message of Easter is one we supply in our hearts tonight.

It is the message of hope, of restoration and of rebirth.

As we stroll this highway collectively, as we wrestle to defeat this pandemic, we stay robust and united and resolved.

Much is being requested of you, way over ought to ever be requested.

But we all know that it is a matter of survival, and we dare not fail.

We shall get well.

We shall overcome.

May God bless South Africa and defend her individuals.

I thanks.

South Africans had eagerly been awaiting information on whether or not the present lockdown can be prolonged from its initially introduced finish date of subsequent Thursday, 16 April.

The nation’s frayed nerves weren’t helped this week by Ramaphosa joking with journalists on Tuesday that though he had stated the lockdown would finish on 16 April, he had not stated what yr it could be.

Ramaphosa stated this week he nonetheless needed to make “critical choices” concerning the lockdown after contemplating all of the choices based mostly on scientific modelling, recommendation and the financial impression of the lockdown, suggesting authorities is but to make up its thoughts about lifting the lockdown, and even simply easing it. The restrictions have put a stranglehold on an financial system that was already in misery earlier than the coronavirus pandemic hit the world.

live at 2020-04-09 19:50:45

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