FULL TEXT: Ramaphosa announces 21-day shutdown

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FULL TEXT: Ramaphosa announces 21-day shutdown

President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Rupert and Oppenheimer households have donated R1bn every amongst quite a few measures by each enterprise and authorities to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

My fellow South Africans,

It is every week since we declared the coronavirus pandemic a nationwide catastrophe and introduced a bundle of extraordinary measures to fight this grave public well being emergency.

The response of the South African individuals to this disaster has been exceptional.

Millions of our individuals have understood the gravity of the state of affairs.

Most South Africans have accepted the restrictions which have been positioned on their lives and have taken accountability for altering their behaviour.

I’m heartened that each sector of society has been mobilised and has accepted the position that it must play.

From non secular leaders to sporting associations, from political events to enterprise individuals, from commerce unions to conventional leaders, from NGOs to public servants, each a part of our society has come ahead to confront this problem.

Many have needed to make troublesome decisions and sacrifices, however all have been decided that these decisions and sacrifices are completely obligatory if our nation is to emerge stronger from this catastrophe.

Over the previous week, South Africans have demonstrated their willpower, their sense of objective, their sense of group and their sense of accountability.

For this, we salute you and we thanks.

On behalf of the nation, I might additionally prefer to thank the well being employees, our docs, nurses and paramedics who’re on the frontline of the pandemic, our lecturers, border officers, police and site visitors officers and all the opposite individuals who have been main our response.

Since the nationwide state of catastrophe was declared, we’ve got put in place a variety of laws and directives.

These laws have restricted worldwide journey, prohibited gatherings of greater than 100 individuals, closed faculties and different academic establishments and restricted the sale of alcohol after 6pm.

We reiterate that the best solution to stop an infection is thru primary modifications in particular person behaviour and hygiene.

We are due to this fact as soon as extra calling on everybody to:

  • wash palms regularly with hand sanitisers or cleaning soap and water for at the very least 20 seconds;
  • cowl our nostril and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexed elbow;
  • keep away from shut contact with anybody with chilly or flu-like signs.

Everyone should do all the things inside their means to keep away from contact with different individuals.

Staying at house, avoiding public locations and cancelling all social actions is the popular finest defence in opposition to the virus.

Over the previous week, as we’ve got been implementing these measures, the worldwide disaster has deepened.

When I addressed the nation final Sunday there have been over 160,000 confirmed COVID-19 circumstances worldwide.

Today, there are over 340,000 confirmed circumstances internationally.

In South Africa, the variety of confirmed circumstances has elevated six-fold in simply eight days from 61 circumstances to 402 circumstances.

This quantity will proceed to rise.

It is obvious from the event of the illness in different international locations and from our personal modelling that instant, swift and extraordinary motion is required if we’re to forestall a human disaster of monumental proportions in our nation.

Our elementary process at this second is to comprise the unfold of the illness.

I’m involved {that a} fast rise in infections will stretch our well being companies past what we are able to handle and many individuals will be unable to entry the care they want.

We should due to this fact do all the things inside our means to scale back the general variety of infections and to delay the unfold of an infection over an extended interval – what is named flattening the curve of infections.

It is crucial that each individual on this nation adheres strictly – and with out exception – to the laws which have already been put in place and to the measures that I’m going to announce this night.

Our evaluation of the progress of the epidemic informs us that we have to urgently and dramatically escalate our response.

The subsequent few days are essential.

Without decisive motion, the variety of individuals contaminated will quickly enhance from a couple of hundred to tens of 1000’s, and inside a couple of weeks to a whole bunch of 1000’s.

This is extraordinarily harmful for a inhabitants like ours, with a lot of individuals with suppressed immunity due to HIV and TB, and excessive ranges of poverty and malnutrition.

We have learnt an awesome deal from the experiences of different international locations.

Those international locations which have acted swiftly and dramatically have been far simpler in controlling the unfold of the illness.

As a consequence, the National Coronavirus Command Council has determined to implement a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with impact from midnight on Thursday 26 March.

This is a decisive measure to save lots of tens of millions of South Africans from an infection and save the lives of a whole bunch of 1000’s of individuals.

While this measure may have a substantial affect on individuals’s livelihoods, on the lifetime of our society and on our financial system, the human price of delaying this motion could be far, far larger.

The nation-wide lockdown shall be enacted by way of the Disaster Management Act and can entail the next:

  • From midnight on Thursday 26 March till midnight on Thursday 16 April, all South Africans should keep at house.
  • The classes of people that shall be exempted from this lockdown are the next: well being employees in the private and non-private sectors, emergency personnel, these in safety companies – such because the police, site visitors officers, army medical personnel, troopers – and different individuals obligatory for our response to the pandemic.

It will even embody these concerned within the manufacturing, distribution and provide of meals and primary items, important banking companies, the upkeep of energy, water and telecommunications companies, laboratory companies, and the availability of medical and hygiene merchandise. A full checklist of important personnel shall be printed.

  • Individuals won’t be allowed to go away their properties besides beneath strictly managed circumstances, akin to to hunt medical care, purchase meals, drugs and different provides or gather a social grant.
  • Temporary shelters that meet the required hygiene requirements shall be recognized for homeless individuals. Sites are additionally being recognized for quarantine and self-isolation for individuals who can’t self-isolate at house.
  • All retailers and companies shall be closed, aside from pharmacies, laboratories, banks, important monetary and fee companies, together with the JSE, supermarkets, petrol stations and well being care suppliers.

Companies which are important to the manufacturing and transportation of meals, primary items and medical provides will stay open.

We will publish a full checklist of the classes of companies that ought to stay open.

Companies whose operations require steady processes akin to furnaces, underground mine operations shall be required to make preparations for care and upkeep to keep away from harm to their steady operations.

Firms which are in a position to proceed their operations remotely ought to achieve this.

  • Provision shall be made for important transport companies to proceed, together with transport for important workers and for sufferers who must be managed elsewhere.

The nation-wide lockdown is critical to essentially disrupt the chain of transmission throughout society.

I’ve accordingly directed the South African National Defence Force be deployed to assist the South African Police Service in making certain that the measures we’re asserting are carried out.

This nationwide lockdown shall be accompanied by a public well being administration programme which can considerably enhance screening, testing, contact tracing and medical administration.

Community well being groups will deal with increasing screening and testing the place individuals live, focusing first on excessive density and high-risk areas.

To be certain that hospitals usually are not overwhelmed, a system shall be put in place for ‘centralised affected person administration’ for extreme circumstances and ‘decentralised main care’ for delicate circumstances.

Emergency water provides – utilizing water storage tanks, water tankers, boreholes and communal standpipes – are being supplied to casual settlements and rural areas.

Quite a few further measures shall be carried out with instant impact to strengthen prevention measures. Some of these measures are that:

  • South African residents and residents arriving from high-risk international locations will robotically be positioned beneath quarantine for 14 days.
  • Non-South Africans arriving on flights from high-risk international locations we prohibited every week in the past shall be turned again.
  • International flights to Lanseria Airport shall be briefly suspended.
  • International travellers who arrived in South Africa after 9 March 2020 from high-risk international locations shall be confined to their accommodations till they’ve accomplished a 14-day interval of quarantine.

Fellow South Africans,

Our nation finds itself confronted not solely by a virus that has contaminated greater than 1 / 4 of one million individuals throughout the globe, but in addition by the prospects of a really deep financial recession that can trigger companies to shut and many individuals to lose their jobs.

Therefore, as we marshal our each useful resource and our each vitality to combat this epidemic, working along with enterprise, we’re putting in measures to mitigate the financial affect each of this illness and of our financial response to it.

We are at the moment asserting a set of interventions that can assist to cushion our society from these financial difficulties.

This is the primary section of the financial response, and additional measures are into consideration and shall be deployed as wanted.

These interventions are fast and focused.

 

Firstly, we’re supporting the weak.

 

  • Following session with social companions, we’ve got arrange a Solidarity Fund, which South African companies, organisations and people, and members of the worldwide group, can contribute to.

 

The Fund will focus efforts to fight the unfold of the virus, assist us to trace the unfold, care for individuals who are ailing and assist these whose lives are disrupted.

The Fund will complement what we’re doing within the public sector.

I’m happy to announce that this Fund shall be chaired by Ms Gloria Serobe and the deputy Chairperson is Mr Adrian Enthoven.

The Fund has an internet site – www.solidarityfund.co.za – and you’ll start to deposit monies into the account tonight.

The Fund shall be administered by a good staff of individuals, drawn from monetary establishments, accounting corporations and authorities.

It will totally account for each cent contributed and can publish the main points on the web site.

It may have a board of eminent South Africans to make sure correct governance.

To get issues transferring, Government is offering seed capital of R150 million and the personal sector has already pledged to assist this fund with monetary contributions within the coming interval.

We shall be spending cash to save lots of lives and to assist the financial system.

In this regard, we should applaud the dedication made on this time of disaster by the Rupert and Oppenheimer households of R1 billion every to help small companies and their staff affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • We are involved that there are a selection of companies which are promoting sure items at excessively excessive costs. This can’t be allowed.

Regulations have been put in place to ban unjustified worth hikes, to make sure retailers keep satisfactory shares of primary items and to forestall individuals from ‘panic shopping for’.

It is vital for all South Africans to grasp that the availability of products stays steady and provide chains stay intact.

Government has had discussions with producers and distributors of primary requirements, who’ve indicated that there shall be a steady provide of those items. There is due to this fact no want for stockpiling of any gadgets.

  • A security web is being developed to assist individuals within the casual sector, the place most companies will undergo on account of this shutdown. More particulars shall be introduced as quickly as we’ve got accomplished the work of help measures that shall be put in place.
  • To alleviate congestion at fee factors, previous age pensions and incapacity grants shall be out there for assortment from 30 and 31 March 2020, whereas different classes of grants shall be out there for assortment from 01 April 2020.

All channels for entry will stay open, together with ATMs, retail level of sale units, Post Offices and money pay factors.

Secondly, we’re going to assist individuals whose livelihoods shall be affected.

  • We are in session on a proposal for a particular dispensation for corporations which are in misery due to COVID-19. Through this proposal staff will obtain wage fee by way of the Temporary Employee Relief Scheme, which can allow corporations to pay staff immediately throughout this era and keep away from retrenchment.
  • Any worker who falls ailing by way of publicity at their office shall be paid by way of the Compensation Fund.
  • Commercial banks have been exempted from provisions of the Competition Act to allow them to develop widespread approaches to debt aid and different obligatory measures.

We have met with all the main banks and anticipate that the majority banks will put measures in place inside the subsequent few days.

  • Many giant corporations which are at present closed have accepted their accountability to pay employees affected. We name on bigger companies particularly to maintain their employees throughout this era.
  • In the occasion that it turns into obligatory, we are going to utilise the reserves inside the UIF system to increase assist to these employees in SMEs and different weak corporations who’re confronted with lack of earnings and whose corporations are unable to offer assist. Details of those shall be made out there inside the subsequent few days.

Thirdly, we’re aiding companies that could be in misery.

  • Using the tax system, we are going to present a tax subsidy of as much as R500 monthly for the subsequent 4 months for these personal sector staff incomes beneath R6,500 beneath the Employment Tax Incentive. This will assist over four million employees.
  • The South African Revenue Service will even work in direction of accelerating the fee of employment tax incentive reimbursements from twice a 12 months to month-to-month to get money into the palms of compliant employers as quickly as attainable.
  • Tax compliant companies with a turnover of lower than R50 million shall be allowed to delay 20% of their pay-as-you-earn liabilities over the subsequent 4 months and a portion of their provisional company earnings tax funds with out penalties or curiosity over the subsequent six months. This intervention is anticipated to help over 75 000 small and medium-term enterprises.
  • We are exploring the non permanent discount of employer and worker contributions to the Unemployment Insurance Fund and employer contributions to the Skill Development Fund.
  • The Department of Small Business Development has revamped R500 million out there instantly to help small and medium enterprises which are in misery by way of a simplified utility course of.
  • The Industrial Development Corporation has put a bundle along with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition of greater than R3 billion for industrial funding to deal with the state of affairs of weak corporations and to fast-track financing for corporations crucial to our efforts to combat the virus and its financial affect.
  • The Department of Tourism has made an extra R200 million out there to help SMEs within the tourism and hospitality sector who’re beneath explicit stress as a result of new journey restrictions.

I wish to make it clear that we anticipate all South Africans to behave within the curiosity of the South African nation and never in their very own egocentric pursuits.

We will due to this fact act very strongly in opposition to any makes an attempt at corruption and profiteering from this disaster.

I’ve directed that particular items of the NPA be put collectively to behave instantly and arrest these in opposition to who we discover proof of corruption.

We will work with the judiciary to expedite circumstances in opposition to implicated individuals and ensure the responsible go to jail.

South Africa has a secure, sound, well-regulated and resilient monetary sector.

Since the worldwide monetary disaster, we’ve got taken steps to strengthen the banking system, together with rising capital, bettering liquidity and lowering leverage.

With a powerful monetary sector and deep and liquid home capital markets, we’ve got the house to offer assist to the true financial system.

We can make sure that cash flows to corporations and households.

We can be certain that our markets are environment friendly.

Last week, according to its Constitutional mandate, the South African Reserve Bank lower the repo price by 100 foundation level. This will present aid to shoppers and companies.

The South African Reserve Bank has additionally proactively supplied further liquidity to the monetary system.

The Governor has assured me that the Bank is able to do ‘no matter it takes’ to make sure the monetary sector operates properly throughout this pandemic.

The banking system will stay open, the JSE will proceed to perform, the nationwide fee system will proceed to function and the Reserve Bank and the business banks will be certain that financial institution notes and cash stay out there.

The motion we’re taking now may have lasting financial prices.

But we’re satisfied that the price of not performing now could be far larger.

We will prioritise the lives and livelihoods of our individuals above all else, and can use the entire measures which are inside our energy to guard them from the financial penalties of this pandemic.

In the times, weeks and months forward our resolve, our resourcefulness and our unity as a nation shall be examined as by no means earlier than.

I name on all of us, every person, to play our half.

To be brave, to be affected person, and above all, to point out compassion.

Let us by no means despair.

For we’re a nation at one, and we are going to certainly prevail.

May God shield our individuals.

Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso.

God seën Suid-Afrika. God bless South Africa.

Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi katekisa Afrika.

I thanks.

For extra information your manner, Orignaly Published on https://citizen.co.za  and 

live at 2020-03-23 20:12:52

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