South Africa battles hunger, relaxes lockdown

by MCR Correspondent
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The economy of Africa’s most industrialised nation was already tottering when the lockdown was enforced on March 27 to contain the spread of infections.

In a bid to cushion the ravaging hunger threatening the lives of its citizens, South Africa has begun to relax the strict coronavirus lockdown order in the country.

While disclosing this on Friday May 1, 2020, the country’s Trade and Industry Minister, Ebrahim Patel, stated that the country has begun to allow some industries to reopen after five weeks of restrictions that almost crushed the country’s tottering economy.

The economy of Africa’s most industrialised nation was already tottering when the lockdown was enforced on March 27 to contain the spread of infections.

“The government has adopted a gradual and phased approach to reopen the country from May 1.

“About 1.5 million workers in selected industries return to work in the next phase under strict health conditions, according to Patel,” said Patel.

“Winter clothing, textile and packaging manufacturing are among the industries permitted to reopen factories. Restaurants will also open, but only for takeaway deliveries.

“Bans on the sale of cigarettes and alcohol will remain in effect,” he added.

While stressing strict adherence to social distancing and wearing of masks in public and at workplaces, the minister stated that some outdoor activities such as cycling, walking and running would be allowed but for just three hours in the morning.

Cooperative Governance Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, however warned that companies that breach regulations will be forced to close.

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who affirmed that South Africans were terribly feeling the economic and social impact of the lockdown, said, “We took the decision to stagger the easing of the lockdown restrictions in a bid to strike a balance between protecting public health and the economy.”

“Our people need to eat. They need to earn a living.

“Companies need to be able to produce and to trade, they need to generate revenue and keep their employees in employment,” Ramaphosa added.

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