Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to end the national state of disaster. He believes there are better ways of handling the pandemic that are more conducive to creating jobs and boosting the economy.
Winde says that government needs to put a management plan of Covid-19 wave 4 in place without a disaster declaration.
The premier says that the power to mandate lockdown levels should fall on a provincial level and notes Gauteng as an example. Winde explains that the national lockdown is severely impacting their economy, even though their third wave of Covid-19 infections have long since passed.
He says that the country needs to go back to the approach it used at the beginning of the second wave where districts were managed according to their Covid-19 cases. “We were starting to use a differentiated approach and I believe that's what we've got to do become much smarter for our economy”.
“When we've got the highest youth unemployment rate in the world, it is a ticking time bomb, and we are locking down whole province's economies while we're waiting for the province that might have high numbers in protecting its hospitals. We need to protect that hospital or those hospitals in that province at the right time when they need it and not in other provinces when they don't need it” said Winde.
Winde says the Western Cape province is implementing a number of different mechanisms to encourage people to get vaccinated by making the jabs more accessible to members of the public.
These include having mobile vaccination busses, pop-up stands and drive-thru vaccination at the Athlone Stadium. This is in response to the vaccine hesitancy in the province. The main areas where vaccine hesitancy are seen are in Mitchell's Plain and Khayelitsha