Cabinet has approved another extension of the national state of disaster on Covid-19 until 15 June 2021.
This follows a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday which discussed various issues, including the country’s Covid-19 response and vaccine rollout programme.
The current national state of disaster was meant to expire on 15 May 2021, after it was extended in April.
“The extension is in terms of Section 27(5)(c) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act 57 of 2002). The extension considers the need to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of state to mitigate against the impact of the disaster on lives and livelihoods,” Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday.
The extension of the national state of disaster comes amid a warning from Health Minister Zweli Mkhize about the rapid increase in new Covid-19 cases in South Africa.
There are fears that the country could be entering its third wave of infections as the winter season approaches, and with the general population yet to be vaccinated.
On Wednesday, new cases nationally increased by 2,759, pushing the total to 1,602,031 while 1,548 new cases were recorded on Tuesday.
Five provinces – Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West and Western Cape – are also showing sustained increases.
The Free State province is already in the grips of a third wave while the Northern Cape has experienced a significant resurgence in recent weeks.