Despite the move to lockdown level 1 and the further easing of restrictions, South Africa will remain in a National State of Disaster.
The most recent extension of the National State of Disaster will remain in place until 15 February 2022. This was confirmed in a statement released by the Department Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) just 1 day before the previous state of disaster was scheduled to come to an end.
CoGTA Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma gazetted the recent extension, stating that the state of disaster is essential in aiding government's response to the pandemic.
Part of Government's response to the pandemic includes the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant which was introduced to provide financial relief to South Africans impacted by the pandemic.
The grant, introduced as a temporary grant, has been in place since 2020 after being extended multiple times by the government. There are concerns that the financial relief that the grant offers will fall away once the National State of Disaster comes to an end.
With the extension of the National State of Disaster being confirmed, CoGTA has urged the public to continue following Covid-19 protocols in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
“Everyone has to wear a face mask at all times, social distance, avoid closed and poorly ventilated spaces, large gatherings and wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
“We urge all South Africans to heed the call by our government to be vaccinated as it is through mass vaccination that we will be able to achieve herd immunity and ultimately protect lives and livelihoods,” the department said in a statement.