Molefe Seeletsa
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
8 Nov 2021
1:25 pm

Nothing to suggest a hard lockdown is imminent, says KZN premier Zikalala

Molefe Seeletsa

At the end of September, President Cyril Ramaphosa moved SA to the less-restrictive adjusted level 1 lockdown ahead of the 1 November municipal elections.

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala during the media briefing on the update on the fight against Covid-19 infections in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Premier Sihle Zikalala has dismissed claims that government will move the country to a harder Covid-19 lockdown level following the conclusion of the 2021 local government elections.

Lockdown

Speaking during a media briefing on Monday morning, Zikalala says suggestions that the country will soon move to a hard lockdown are baseless.

“We have noted with absolute dismay, people spreading false claims that our country’s national lockdown was downgraded only to allow for the elections to take place; and that after the elections government will bring back the hard lockdown.

“What is even more worrying is that even educated members of society, who must know better, were also making these claims. As far as we are concerned, these are just baseless allegations,” the premier said.

Zikala says is nothing to suggest that there will be a hard lockdown, even though Covid-19 cases are rising.

ALSO READ: Here’s when the fourth Covid-19 wave is expected to hit South Africa

“The only time that this can happen is if there is a sudden large increase in the number of confirmed cases.

“Decisions on coronavirus are informed by medical and science advice. This is precisely why it is crucial for everyone to continue adhering to safety protocols, while ensuring that as many people as possible get vaccinated,” he added.

At the end of September, President Cyril Ramaphosa moved the country to the less-restrictive adjusted level 1 lockdown ahead of the 1 November municipal elections.

The move ignited fears that a fourth wave of the Covid-19 infections would hit South Africa after the elections, given the number of people allowed to gather under level 1 lockdown.

Up to 2,000 people are permitted at outdoor venues and 750 for indoor gatherings.

Covid and vaccinations

Experts and officials have predicted that a fourth resurgence would only be seen in the country at the end of the year, as the risk remained very high amid a low uptake in vaccinations.

While South Africa has sufficient stock to inoculate the population, Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said government was still struggling to reach people.

However, the minister believes that 40% of the country’s adult population will receive at least one dose of the jab if not fully vaccinated in the next few days.

As of 7 November, just over 23 million vaccines had been administered in the country as government aims to vaccinate 70% of the country’s population by the end of the year.

READ MORE: High-profile breakthrough cases trigger vaccine misinformation

However, it was previously reported that more than 14 million people had not returned for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Government will roll out another vaccination drive themed Vooma Vaccination Weekend to encourage citizens to get their vaccinations against Covid-19 from 12 to 14 November.

Meanwhile, the total number of detected Covid-19 cases currently stands at 2,923,956, with 205 new cases identified over the last 24-hour period.

An additional 13 Covid-related deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 89,332.