South Africa: Hard Lockdown Unsustainable - Economy Had to Be Re-Opened

analysis

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize cited social distress, unemployment and recession for easing the Covid-19 lockdown to Level 3. And while Tuesday's four-hour National Council of Provinces session had Health MECs talking of a post-Covid-19 legacy of improved public health, serious questions remain on how key governance decisions are made.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize put his finger on an inherent contradiction in South Africa's Covid-19 lockdown strategy - while the World Health Organisation criteria tie together any easing of lockdown with slowing infection rates, in South Africa, this comes just as numbers of Covid-19 cases are on the up.

"We've actually had to move on and reopen [the economy]... The reason for it is because there's a problem, a crisis of hunger, income, economic recession and social distress," Mkhize told the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday.

Earlier in the same briefing, Co-operative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma also put front and centre the economy and livelihoods.

"With the closing of business, we have seen how the livelihoods are being undermined. And that's why we have the reopening... "

The comments by the two ministers most visible in South Africa's fight against the coronavirus pandemic follow President...

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