President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday night the country would implement a partial easing of the current COVID-19 lockdown after April 30, to spare the economy and save jobs.
“Beyond Thursday the 30th of April we will implement a risk-adjusted strategy to take a deliberate and cautious approach to ease lockdown restrictions,” he announced.
“The strategy we take now must be measured and incremental.
“We cannot take action today that we deeply regret tomorrow.
“We have to balance the need to resume economic activity with the need to save lives.
“While a nationwide lockdown is probably the best means to contain the virus, it cannot be sustained indefinitely. Our people need to eat. They need to earn a living. Companies need to generate revenue.”
Ramaphosa said some businesses would be allowed to resume operations under specific conditions.
The return of the workforce will be no more than one-third per business.
A work from home strategy is still encouraged.
Shortly before the president’s speech, the health ministry announced there were 318 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in SA, with the total number of confirmed cases at 3,953. Ten new deaths were reported, resulting in a total of 75 COVID-19 deaths across the country.
Ramaphosa announced a R500bn stimulus package earlier this week, on which finance minister Tito Mboweni will provide more details on Friday.