Gauteng Premier David Makhura is of the view that if the province can achieve compliance at Level 4 of the lockdown, then it will move to Level 3 “much quicker”.
“If we can’t have compliance at Level 4, and we go to Level 3, we are going to be overwhelmed,” Makhura said at a virtual briefing on Thursday.
“I would like the people of our province to know that greater levels of compliance with all the measures at Level 4, then we will move to Level 3 much quicker.”
Makhura’s comments came after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday that parts of the country would be moving to Level 3 of the risk-adjusted strategy at the end of the month.
The parts of the country moving to Level 3 have not been announced yet.
Ramaphosa, in his announcement, also warned that more relaxations will come with a greater risk, as more people interact with one another, and greater vigilance will be required.
Makhura said the province would like to move to Level 3, but it needed to be “realistic”.
“As the economic hub of the country, we would like the economy to open – we know the full impact it has on the livelihoods of millions of people, many of whom came to Gauteng for economic reasons to earn an income and feed families,” Makhura explained.
The premier added that the next two weeks would be crucial as the province monitored the compliance of its hotspots.
“We can only get to Level 3 with a lot of the sweat that we put into Level 4 – there is no magic about it,” he added.
Makhura said the province was not enjoying the closure of the economy – but, when the economy opened, measures had to be put in place to ensure the environment was not harmful to people.
“I don’t want anyone thinking that we are enjoying the fact that the economy is closed. We are not enjoying being on Level 4, we would like to move to Level 3, but we are realistic people.
“For example, I want to go to my haircut guy and be sure that small outfit complies. I want to be sure of these contact businesses – we want them to be open, but measures must be in place to protect people,” he concluded.
As of Thursday, 14 May, 2020, the province had the second-highest number of cases nationally – 2,074, with 1,547 recoveries and 24 deaths.