Statement by Premier Alan Winde in response to address by President Cyril Ramaphosa
“End the National State of Disaster, Empower Provincial Governments, Save Jobs”
Earlier today in the President’s Coordinating Council meeting, I made clear to President Cyril Ramaphosa that the Western Cape Government does not support the extension of the National State of Disaster and that it must come to an end.
This is an extreme tool that cannot be used indefinitely, especially if we are to rapidly grow our economy, create millions of jobs, and recover.
And so, while I welcome the move to Alert Level 1 this evening, as an important first step required for economic recovery, I remain concerned that no clear announcement was made by the President on when the National State of Disaster will end.
The Western Cape has a clear, 5-point-plan on what we believe must be done if we are to get the balance right in saving lives and jobs.
- We must end the National State of Disaster to grow the economy and create jobs.
- We must enable Provincial and Local Government Responses through an established traffic-light warning system, based on pre-determined measures of health platform capacity. This will enable provincial, differentiated approaches in the future based on a provincial government’s capacity to respond to increased pressures.
- We must maintain healthcare capacity by increasing budget allocations to Provincial Governments. This will enable maintenance of standby field hospital capacity, healthcare worker capacity and oxygen capacity should it be required in the future.
- We must empower people by continuing with behaviour change campaigns that provide knowledge on non-pharmaceutical safety practices. Residents must be given the agency to protect themselves and others.
- We must increase vaccinations through more pop-up and satellite vaccination sites, which work better by improving convenience and access.
There is no doubt that the move to Alert Level 1 will provide a welcome boost for our economy, especially our tourism and hospitality sector, but we must now look beyond this centralised approach and put in place the localised response systems that will enable our economy to recover quickly.
As we continue to move forward and reopen our economy, I encourage residents to play their part and get vaccinated. This weekend, we encourage you to make use of the Vooma vaccination drive and get vaccinated at a designated site. Doing so will ensure that we can protect ourselves and those around us, ensuring that we save lives and that we can safely reopen our economy.