The South African government has approved the extension of the National State of Disaster by another month to 15 October 2021.
This was announced at a media briefing on Thursday by Minister in The Presidency Mondli Gungubele following a Cabinet meeting.
“In other words, the protocols as they pertain are going to continue,” Gungubele said.
State of Disaster extended
The changes were gazetted under section 3 of the Disaster Management Act, of 2002 in terms of section 27(5)(c).
The current National State of Disaster is due to expire on 15 September.
Prior to the most recent extension, the State of Disaster regulations were extended from 15 July to 15 August.
However, these multiple extensions have come under fire.
Many have argued the Disaster Management Act gives government complete freedom to act as it wishes by extending the State of Disaster without parliamentary oversight.
State of Disaster will likely be extended again before 15 October.
While South Africa will remain under alert level 3 lockdown, Gungubele said the extension of lockdown restrictions will depend on the number of Covid-19 infections.
“Lockdown whether it is going to be eased or not it depends a lot on the rate of infections, the degrees at which facilities are coping and mainly on South Africans sticking with non-pharmaceutical measures. And the family meeting will depend on what comes out of the National Coronavirus Command Council [NCCC] meeting,” he said.
Gungubele revealed government is considering on vaccine passport so the country could open up activities such as live sports to citizens.
“It is quite an attractive matter because those of us who love football, when you watch stadiums in Europe full and hearing about measures Europe is engaging on. [At this moment] the president has actually directed the Cabinet to look at all possible innovations that can actually assist in allowing more activities in the country so the issue of vaccine passport is one of the innovative ideas we are going to look at,” he said.
As of Wednesday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 9,544 new Covid-19 cases had been identified in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,787,203.
“This increase represents an 15.6% positivity rate,” reported the institute.
In addition, 235 new deaths were recorded, bringing the death toll to 82,496 since the pandemic was first declared in South Africa.
Meanwhile, more than 12,568,525 doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered across the country to date.