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Premier Alan Winde on roadmap to end the National State of Disaster

13 Oct 2021

I can confirm that I have now received correspondence from the National Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma relating to correspondence sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting consultation with provinces before any extension of the National State of Disaster is extended, which is expected on Friday.

In that correspondence, I specifically called for transparency on the roadmap to end the National State of Disaster, which is an extreme tool that cannot be used indefinitely. The people of the Western Cape, and in particular our job-creating businesses, need clarity on what the plan is to exit this State of Disaster, including when it will happen.

The National State of Disaster also has a direct impact on the powers of provinces, as set out in the Constitution of the Republic, and consultation with provincial executives on its extension and what the plan is to end it is critical to give effect to the principle of cooperative governance, which underpins our country’s Constitution.

In the correspondence, Minister Dlamini-Zuma indicates that ongoing assessments by the National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet will determine the satisfaction of conditions for terminating or allowing the state of disaster to lapse.

I am not satisfied with this response, which is silent on the question of consultation on this decision, and which is important for reasons set out above, as well as silent on whether there is in fact a road-map in place to terminate the disaster. 

I am now extremely concerned that the National Government does not in fact have a plan for this to happen, with clear markers, based on expert advice.

This is a problem. We should be using this time now to have these discussions so that we put in place the management systems for the future, that empower provincial and local government, through differentiated responses. This is the certainty that the economy needs to grow and recover.

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