Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
21 May 2020
2:14 pm

Makhura says work is being done in preparation for Level 3

Makhosandile Zulu

The Gauteng premier says the Ekurhuleni region is now a big concern as it has become a Covid-19 hotspot.

Screengrab of Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has said that the province’s “special” integrated space and economy will have to be taken into account as work is being done in preparation of moving from Level 4 to Level 3 of the lockdown, ahead of the Covid-19 national command council’s decision on changing the levels.

Makhura was on Thursday speaking at the Gauteng Covid-19 command council’s weekly update on Covid-19.

The premier said that considering how Gauteng’s metros were interdependent – the province being “a single integrated economy”; the emergence of Ekurhuleni as a Covid-19 hotspot was concerning. This means it would not make sense to have different regions in the province on different levels of the lockdown, he said.

Makhura said the provincial government was now directing all of its efforts towards containing the spread of Covid-19 in Ekurhuleni.

He said the region was now a Covid-19 hotspot in terms of the new infections being tracked over a period of a week and that the area was now “a big concern” for the provincial government.

The provincial government has done and will continue to do work in the coming weeks to ensure that Gauteng is ready for Level 3 of the lockdown, the premier said.

Makhura said the decision to move the province from Level 4 to 3 of the lockdown is not about choosing the economy over people’s lives and that descending from one level to the next should be done at a time when the spread of the virus has been contained.

The premier said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has protocols that guide countries on moving from one level to the next.

The provincial government met with business leaders in the province on Wednesday, Makhura said, where a number of issues on compliance with Level 4 lockdown measures and the readiness for Level 3 were discussed.

Makhura said both parties were in agreement that there was a need to strike a balance between the imperatives of public health and the economy and that opening up the latter should not be done haphazardly and in a way that would endanger the lives of millions of workers in Gauteng.

He said the provincial government agreed with business leaders that the lockdown could not last forever as it had been costly.

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