In a statement on Sunday shortly after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a national disaster relating to the spread of the novel coronavirus in South Africa, the DA expressed its support for the latest moves.
DA interim leader John Steenhuisen said it was timely to declare a national state of disaster to the now internal transmission of Covid-19, including a number of drastic contingency measures to inhibit the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of each and every South African.
He said the DA-led Western Cape government was “poised and ready” to address this national emergency, and would work in full cooperation with national government “in the interests of our country and its citizens”.
“Now, more than ever, we must put politics aside if we are going to succeed in the fight against Covid-19.”
Steenhuisen expressed concern that the virus was now being spread to people who had not travelled outside South African borders, and that a jump from 38 confirmed cases on Saturday to 61 by Sunday night was particularly worrying.
“We will be tracking and closely monitoring the implementation of the president’s announcements both in our own governments as well as those elsewhere in the country, while doing everything in our power to mitigate the effects of these measures on the country’s already strained economy and public healthcare system.
“We urge all South Africans to observe these measures very closely and to take every precaution necessary to avoid possible infection with, or transmission of, the Covid-19 virus.
“This is a crisis of the collective affecting us all either directly or indirectly. We must band together to formulate a collective response to this virus in order to overcome it.”
(Edited by Charles Cilliers)