By: Lulutho Skeyi|01 October 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa has decided to move South Africa to adjusted level 1 following a meeting with the National Coronavirus Command Council, President’s Coordinating Council and the Cabinet. The President released a statement last night, 30 September 2021, where he was focusing on progress in the national effort to contain the COVID-19 Pandemic. The matters vital to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the recover of the South African society and economy that President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about included the boosting of the National vaccination campaign, plans considered to advance opening the economy, launching of a vaccination certificate and the arrangements with United Kingdom to restore and travel, tourism and trade.

The President mentioned that over 17 million vaccine doses have been conducted where over 8.6 million people are fully vaccinated. “We have decided to upscale our vaccination campaign by launching the ‘Vooma Vaccination Weekends’ says the President. The Vimma Vaccination Campaign will be a nationwide drive to motivate people to get vaccinated.

Measures which will apply as part of Alert Level 1 are as follows:

             •             Curfew hours have been adjusted from 12 midnight to 4am.

             •             Non-essential establishments such as bars, fitness centre’s and restaurants will close by 11pm.

             •           The number of people permitted for gathering indoors has increased from 250 to 750.

             •           The number of maximum people permitted for gathering outdoors has increased from 500 to 2000.

             •           The maximum number of people permitted at a funeral will increase from 50 to 100.

             •             Night vigils, after funeral gatherings and ‘after tears’ are still not permitted.

             •             Sales of alcohol will be permitted according to normal license provisions.

             •           No alcohol will be sold after 11pm.

             •           The wearing of masks in public remains compulsory.

             •             Failure to wear a mask when required remains a criminal offense.

“The Department of Health will soon be rolling out a vaccination certificate, which will provide a secure and verifiable proof of vaccination.” says President Cyril Ramaphosa. The vaccination certificate will be used to facilitate travel, access to different facilities and to prove vaccination jab status.

The crowd of gatherings which had recently been adjusted raise a concern for experts and is said to be out of sync with the rest of the addressing speech. The alert level adjustments and the gathering crowds of of 750 people indoors and 2000 people outdoors has raised controversial topics and questions to most South Africans as they raise assumptions to the alert level 1 adjustments and measurements to being politically motivated and related to the elections being around the corner and that these adjustment measures of alert level 1 are one of the governing party ploys to allow them to campaign for the upcoming elections.

“If the President had actually gone further to explain why they went to that extent to increase the numbers and be honest with us; perhaps there could be an explanation. In retrospect it explains why we should have actually in some way, given the pandemic, postponed the elections.” says Professor Mosa Moshabela.

COVID-19 Statistics in South Africa are as follows:

Confirmed Cases: 1 678

Tests Conducted: 40 680

Deaths: 101

Recoveries: 2 773 344

The vaccination is free to everyone living in South Africa; whether a South African citizen or not. You can go to a governmental private health facility that offers vaccination even if you don’t have a medical aid. You can walk into your nearest vaccination site with your ID or other proof of identity and be registered on the instantly.

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